Roanoke, the ”Unique Dining Capital of Texas”, un model american de turism gastronomic

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Roa­no­ke, the ”Uni­que Dining Capi­tal of Texas”, un model ame­ri­can de turism gas­tro­no­mic. 

Oră­șe­lul texan Roa­no­ke, supra­nu­mit “Uni­que Dining Capi­tal of Texas”, cu o popu­la­ție de doar puțin pes­te 9.000 de locu­i­tori, este un model ame­ri­can de turism gas­tro­no­mic. Roa­no­ke are astăzi aproa­pe 70 de loca­luri ori­gi­na­le, în care se poa­te servi masa cu fami­lia sau cu pri­e­te­nii, după cele mai diver­se rețe­te culi­na­re. Cu doar 10 ani în urmă, erau numai 39 de ase­me­nea res­ta­u­ran­te situ­a­te pe stra­da prin­ci­pa­lă (”Oak Stre­et”), iar oră­șe­lul avea doar 6.450 lucu­i­tori…

New food hall joi­ning ‘Uni­que Dining Capi­tal of Texas’.

Roanoke’s title as the “Uni­que Dining Capi­tal of Texas” is not just a mar­ke­ting tool. The sta­te Hou­se of Repre­sen­ta­ti­ves offi­ci­a­l­ly bes­to­wed the desig­na­tion a deca­de ago.

At the time, the city had 39 res­ta­u­rants acro­ss 6 squ­a­re miles, accor­ding to Roa­no­ke Assis­tant City Mana­ger Cody Petree. Today, that num­ber has grown to more than 65. But the­re is sti­ll room for more con­cepts, such as a new food hall.

Roa­no­ke offi­ci­als said the desig­na­tion has lured more eate­ries to the city, par­ti­cu­lar­ly to its down­town area on Oak Stre­et. Res­ta­u­rant owners have also been attrac­ted to Roanoke’s growing popu­la­tion and new deve­lo­p­ments. And they are hoping to cap­tu­re diners from among the new resi­dents and wor­kers flo­c­king to cor­po­ra­te cam­pu­ses in Fort Wor­th and Wes­tla­ke.

Whe­ther tho­se cus­to­mers are see­king Sou­th Afri­can dishes or a swe­et tre­at, Roa­no­ke has them cove­red. Next up for the uni­que dining capi­tal is a tren­dy food hall.

A new dining con­cept

John and Ire­ne Dan­cer are the owners behind one of Roanoke’s newest res­ta­u­rant con­cepts.

The cou­ple began con­struc­tion in Febru­a­ry on Oak St Food & Brew. The food hall is expec­ted to open in August or Sep­tem­ber in the buil­ding that used to hou­se The Plaid Pea­co­ck bou­ti­que.

Oak St Food & Brew will span 11,400 squ­a­re feet and fea­tu­re four res­ta­u­rants, a brewe­ry, and indo­or and out­do­or sea­ting when it opens.

We tho­u­ght … [we could]bring diffe­rent venu­es in and have a lit­tle bit more rea­so­na­bly pri­ced menus for lun­ches,” Ire­ne Dan­cer said.

The food hall has room for four more res­ta­u­rants. Seve­ral have alrea­dy expres­sed inte­rest. Ire­ne Dan­cer said she expects to fill tho­se spa­ces qui­c­k­ly.

In addi­tion to new con­cepts, Oak St Food & Brew has plans to add more out­do­or sea­ting, inclu­ding a cou­ch and a fire pit.

We are the ‘Uni­que Dining Capi­tal of Texas,’ and we want [the food hall]to be uni­que,” she added. “We want it to be whe­re there’s a vari­e­ty of items the­re. You can go to the brewe­ry and get your coc­k­ta­il and then be able to go and get wha­te­ver food you want.”

Uni­que dining desig­na­tion

Roanoke’s repu­ta­tion for its dining options has grown over the last few deca­des. Francis Sil­mon has spent more than two deca­des as gene­ral mana­ger at The Cla­s­sic at Roa­no­ke, a fine dining eate­ry on Oak Stre­et. He said when The Cla­s­sic ope­ned on Oak Stre­et in 1993, the city had few other dining options, inclu­ding Babe’s Chi­c­ken Din­ner Hou­se, whi­ch ope­ned just two wee­ks pri­or to The Cla­s­sic.

The Classic’s co-owners, Chris and Cur­tis Wells, were attrac­ted to the upco­ming deve­lo­p­ment in the area. And over the past seve­ral years, deve­lo­p­ment has boo­med, Sil­mon said.

[Res­ta­u­rants have] beco­me the cen­ter of Roanoke’s enter­tain­ment and its pri­ma­ry draw,” Sil­mon said. “The focus of Roa­no­ke is the diver­si­ty of the res­ta­u­rants and them being non-chain-type res­ta­u­rants.”

Jack Lay­man is part of the wave of res­ta­u­rants that have ope­ned in Roa­no­ke over the past seve­ral years. Lay­man owns Cajun con­cept Bayou Jack’s Cajun Gri­ll, whi­ch ope­ned in 2011, and Jack and Gri­ll, a sports bar that ope­ned in 2013.

Both res­ta­u­rants are loca­ted along Oak Stre­et.

Lay­man said having uni­que menus has allowed his con­cepts to thri­ve in Roa­no­ke.

For us, [busi­ne­ss has]been fan­tas­tic. We hit the gro­und run­ning,” he said. “I think any con­cept coming in that’s uni­que and diffe­rent would do well [in Roa­no­ke].”

Impro­ve­ments along Oak Stre­et hel­ped spur more deve­lo­p­ment in the area in the late 2000s. Betwe­en 2007-08, the city inves­ted $8 mil­li­on to repa­ve the roa­dway; add a roun­da­bo­ut; and insta­ll stre­et­sca­pes, lan­ds­ca­ping and stre­et ligh­ting.

With the road work done and a growing busi­ne­ss com­mu­ni­ty, Roa­no­ke City Coun­cil and city offi­ci­als began a push for a cam­paign that would encom­pa­ss more of its uni­que offe­rin­gs.

Mayor Sco­o­ter Gie­ris­ch said it made sen­se that Roa­no­ke would be high­li­gh­ted for its dining options.

Pro­ba­bly what set us off the most was the attrac­tion to Babe’s Chi­c­ken Din­ner Hou­se. Peo­ple sit out­si­de of Babe’s for one to two hours in some cases trying to get into this very eclec­tic res­ta­u­rant,” Gie­ris­ch said. “We loo­ked at that and [thought]that if [customers]will tra­vel to this res­ta­u­rant, we could build off of that.”

In 2009, the city of Roa­no­ke wor­ked with sta­te Rep. Tan Par­ker, R‑Flower Mound, to push for the “Dining Capi­tal of Texas” desig­na­tion. The Texas Hou­se of Repre­sen­ta­ti­ves added in “uni­que” after loo­king at the vari­e­ty of Roanoke’s res­ta­u­rant options.

Attrac­ting more eate­ries

A deca­de after recei­ving the desig­na­tion, the city is sti­ll capi­ta­li­zing on that bran­ding. City Mana­ger Scott Cam­pbe­ll said he expects the city to add 10 more eate­ries in the next year.

Deve­lo­p­ment aro­und Roa­no­ke is also hel­ping bring in more options. Roa­no­ke boasts a day­ti­me popu­la­tion of more than 50,000 peo­ple, Cam­pbe­ll said. That num­ber is made up of peo­ple wor­king in the city and at near­by Alli­an­ce­Te­xas, a deve­lo­p­ment that is home to more than 500 com­pa­nies in nor­theast Fort Wor­th.

Near­by Wes­tla­ke is also growing.

What is next

Sti­ll to come is The Pea­bo­dy Roa­no­ke, a luxu­ry hotel set to open by April 1, 2022. It will have a for­mal res­ta­u­rant, but deta­ils have not been anno­un­ced.

Lay­man will also add to his port­fo­lio with two new con­cepts ope­ning next year. Fami­ly enter­tain­ment cen­ter LVLUP is expec­ted to open in spring 2020. Lay­man will ope­ra­te a sports bar and offer fin­ger foo­ds for cus­to­mers pla­ying games.

Coming even soo­ner is Los Com­pa­dres, a Mexi­can con­cept set to open in Janu­a­ry acro­ss Oak Stre­et from Wise Guys Piz­ze­ria. It will fea­tu­re Tex-Mex cui­si­ne and mar­ga­ri­tas.

Oak Stre­et in Roa­no­ke is home to many of the res­ta­u­rants that hel­ped the city beco­me the “Uni­que Dining Capi­tal of Texas.” In the deca­de sin­ce that desig­na­tion, the city has added near­ly 30 eate­ries, and more are to come. (Sour­ces: city of Roa­no­ke, U.S. Cen­sus Bureau/Community Impact News­pa­per Pho­to by Korri Kezar/ Com­mu­ni­ty Impact News­pa­per).

Des­pre autor: Korri Kezar gra­du­a­ted from the Uni­ver­si­ty of Texas at Aus­tin in 2011 with a degree in jour­na­lism. She wor­ked for Com­mu­ni­ty Impact News­pa­pe­r’s Round Rock-Pflu­ger­vi­l­le-Hut­to edi­tion for two years befo­re moving to Dal­las. Five years later, she retur­ned to the com­pany to laun­ch Com­mu­ni­ty Impact News­pa­pe­r’s Kel­ler-Roa­no­ke-Nor­theast Fort Wor­th edi­tion, whe­re she covers local gover­n­ment, deve­lo­p­ment, trans­por­ta­tion and a vari­e­ty of other topics. She has also wor­ked at the San Anto­nio Express-News, Aus­tin-Ame­ri­can Sta­tes­man and Dal­las Busi­ne­ss Jour­nal.


MN: Am fost, am văzut și am ”degus­tat”! Totul e incre­di­bil, dar atât de firesc, aici! Atmosfe­ra, oame­nii, bună­tă­ți­le — mul­te, cu por­ții maa­ari, sănă­toa­se, proas­pe­te, pre­pa­ra­te toa­te pe loc. Vom reve­ni cu mare drag! 🙂


Man­ga­lia News, Dumi­ni­că, 04.08.2019. (sur­sa: communityimpact.com/news).


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