Blue Ridge Country - November/December 2017 - 59
Those three items have been The Roanoker
Restaurant's trademarks for more than threequarters of a century in Roanoke, Virginia.
by Fred & Jill Sauceman
Five minutes at The Roanoker Restaurant and we felt like regulars. It's the
kind of place where you want to linger over breakfast for hours.
Although our first visit to the restaurant was in August of this year,
we've enjoyed Roanoke, Virginia,
hospitality and food history for
We've occupied two of the 10
counter stools at The Texas Tavern for a Cheesy Western, the eggtopped burger dressed with mustardy cabbage relish at the place
Isaac Newton "Nick" Bullington, a
circus promoter, opened in 1930.
We've savored peanut soup and
spoon bread at The Hotel Roanoke, the Tudor Revival institution that dates to 1882. That soup
recipe was created by Chef Fred
Brown in 1940.
A year after Brown served up the
first bowl of his version of the old
Virginia classic, Crafton Warren
and two friends leased "storeroom
No. 11 South Jefferson Street in
the City of Roanoke, Virginia," as
the lease reads. The terms were for
three years, beginning at midnight
on May 31, 1941. For the first year,
the partners were to pay $125. That
would go up to $135 for the second
year and $140 by the third. To get
them jump-started, Warren and his
partners took out a $50 loan, which
would come due two months later.
In 2016, The Roanoker celebrated its 75th anniversary as
Roanoke's "Home of Good Food."
The location has changed over the
years, but Warren's original mission
has not: "To welcome guests to our
comfortable home for consistently
good food at reasonable prices."
With the U.S. entry into World
War II in December of 1941, Warren's two partners were called to
duty. He continued to run the
lunch counter while serving as a civilian neighborhood volunteer. After the war, he bought their shares.
Warren's son E.C. began helping his father when E.C. was eight
years old and would go on to own
and operate the restaurant.
November/December 2017 59