Whistle Punk Grill & Taphouse opened in June 2018, occupying a nearly hundred-year-old building that once served as a former bakery. Whistle Punk has quickly become a favorite of both locals and visitors; guests enjoy the diverse menu featuring fresh, quality dishes.
Lance and Stacy Raffo never intended to open a restaurant in Stacy’s hometown of Richwood, but after trying to convince several others that the former bakery building needed to be a cool restaurant, they decided to do it themselves. Lance, a Maryland native, brings 25 years of food and beverage experience, he started working at 15 at a barbecue stand, then moved on to some of the best crab houses in Annapolis. After graduating from Concord College with a degree in Park, Resort and Restaurant Management, Lance spent several years in management at both Winterplace and Snowshoe ski resorts in WV before working at The Ritz-Carlton, Tyson’s Corner and The Greenbrier. Opening Whistle Punk helped fulfill a lifelong dream for Lance, his love of food shows; you often find him smiling and running the grill.
Stacy on the other hand, had very little food and beverage experience. Her first job was serving at the Richwood Pizza Hut, a summer job she would have been fired from if she weren’t returning to college. Her experience is mostly in non-profits and community development, for her opening Whistle Punk was a labor of love to help spark Richwood’s redevelopment; Stacy has quickly fallen in love with the hospitality industry and loves chatting with guests and talking about various beers. Stacy assumes many of the behind the scenes roles such as payroll, marketing and endless mountains of paperwork.
The Raffos are rounded out by their teen daughters, Quinn and Reagan. The girls are learning the industry by washing dishes and helping out. When they aren’t working together at Whistle Punk, the Raffo family enjoys taking in all the beautiful sites in WV, especially if it includes paddling in their kayaks down a river.
Lance is joined in the Whistle Punk kitchen by a talented culinary team, with chef Elizabeth (Libby) Nolle. Libby, another Marylander, came to WV to study at Davis and Elkins College, she fell in love with cooking and WV. Though Libby has left many times, she always finds her way back to the mountains of West Virginia. She brings years of experience and a very creative palate.