The Roanoker - September/October 2014 - 99
Wait, Parker's Seafood opened in 1919? Yes,
and the Weiner Stand came along just seven
years later. Here are personal perspectives
on some of the valley's oldest eateries.
The New Yorker Deli has
been stackin' 'em high
BY A QUICK ACCOUNTING, there are 13 Roanoke
restaurants that are at least as old as The Roanoker (see
chart). There are reasons they are still around, usually
having little to do with a 5-star status. They have followings, loyal customers who come back, bring their
children, who bring their children years later.
People have stories about these restaurants and they
scramble to tell them, excitedly remembering the day
I have eaten at every one of these restaurants, some
more than others and I can't say there is a single one
where I didn't enjoy myself at one time or another. Here
is a quick look at each one.
PARKER'S SEAFOOD, 1919
Mike Ashley, freelance writer in D.C., Roanoke native:
"When I was younger, my mom (single parent) loved
Parker's Seafood, the older site on Peter's Creek Road.
Naturally, I thought it about as un-cool as a place could
be for a teenager to find himself dining on a weekend
night but saving my money to put gas (and oil) in the
'76 flesh-tone Vega, I rarely passed up a free meal.
"When I got older I loved to take my Mom there to
the newer location on my dime because she liked it so
much. 'You know I like to eat fish when I go out because
I never cook it at home,' she said so many times it's
now repeated as homily anytime anyone in my family
orders fish at a meal.
"For a girl from the mountains of North Carolina,
Roanoke's own seafood site was pretty exotic. I don't live
in town anymore and a friend lost his father a few years
back. A bunch of us, then 40-somethings, were looking
for a place to go eat after a morning service, and dang if
we didn't all decide to honor our parental predecessors,
thinking Parker's would be the perfect spot. It was."