Thursday, April 10, 2014

Joe Lamp'l Coming to Roanoke City Market!

Joe Lamp’l, host of public television’s Growing a Greener World, will be in Roanoke on April 25 and 26 to film a segment on Virginia’s Blue Ridge for his nationally broadcast television series. The show will feature the City Market area with its farm-to-table theme as well as local restaurants and the green roof at Center in the Square. Joe will also talk with Jon Bryant of Natural Foods Co-op and Mark Powell of the Association of Community Gardens to highlight Roanoke’s community gardens and the programs’ success. Local sponsors supporting Blue Ridge PBS’ Joe Lamp’l project are Center in the Square, City of Roanoke, Cool Cities Coalition, Roanoke Valley Convention and Visitors Bureau and Sheraton Roanoke. The segment will be broadcast in the upcoming fall season of 2014. Saturday, April 26, Blue Ridge PBS will partner with Center in the Square to host an invitational rooftop cocktail event with Mr. Lamp’l. Event sponsors are Barrel Cave Wines and Gourmet, Firefly Fare, Healthy Happy Cooks and Lib and Amy Catering.

Growing a Greener World combines the latest trends in eco-friendly outdoor living with traditional gardening know-how. The award-winning 26-part series travels the country to deliver compelling, inspirational, informative and entertaining stories about those making a positive impact on the planet through organic gardening, sustainable living and farm-to-table cooking. This season's topics range from edible landscape design, urban homesteading and hobby farming to seasonal cooking, canning and preserving. In each episode, gardening and sustainability expert, Joe Lamp’l demonstrates a hands-on gardening project and later, Chef Nathan Lyon blends grassroots with gourmet to create simple, innovative cuisine using fresh, locally sourced ingredients. James Baum, president and CEP of Blue Ridge PBS says, “We’re pleased to have Joe come to Roanoke to showcase Virginia’s Blue Ridge. His show consistently highlights best practices in conservation and sustainability.”

NOTE: Growing a Green World is broadcast in 96% of the top 50 market areas in the US. Blue Ridge PBS is honored to host Joe Lamp’l and pleased to have sponsored his original television season. An interview with Mr. Lamp’l can be scheduled through Blue Ridge PBS.

Blue Ridge PBS is the winner of multiple regional Emmy Awards for documentaries and community service. Founded in 1967, Blue Ridge PBS is the sole public multimedia enterprise serving portions of five states. As the region’s storyteller, Blue Ridge PBS offers outstanding informational, educational and cultural programming, along with an award-winning local production team devoted to regional issues and interests.

Monday, November 18, 2013

Capitol Christmas Tree Making Only Virginia Tour Stop in Downtown Roanoke

We are pleased to announce the 2013 U.S. Capitol Christmas Tree, also known as “The People’s Tree,” will be making its only stop in Virginia in Roanoke on Friday, November 22nd from 4:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m., on its way from Washington State to Washington, D.C.  The community is invited to come see the U.S. Capitol Christmas Tree at SunTrust Plaza in Downtown Roanoke and help celebrate the season with performances from Southwest Virginia Ballet and Mill Mountain Theatre.  An opportunity will be available to sign banners accompanying the tree to Washington, D.C.

A different national forest is chosen each year to provide the “People’s Tree.”  This year the Colville National Forest in the northeast corner of Washington State provided the top choice, an 88 foot tall Engelmann spruce.  Representatives from the national forest will be available to answer questions and photos can be taken in front of the tree. The tree is currently touring across the country heading east to the U.S. Capitol and will stop in several cities.

The Christmas tree will grace the west front lawn of the U.S. Capitol in December.  Once it arrives in Washington D.C. in late November, the tree will be lowered into a 5-foot deep hole, strung with lights, and decorated with thousands of handcrafted ornaments.  House Speaker John Boehner will light the tree at a ceremony in early December and the tree will be lit nightly from dusk to 11:00 p.m. throughout the holiday season and enjoyed by people from across the world.

Friday, October 25, 2013

Halloween in Downtown This Weekend

Downtown Roanoke comes alive for Halloween beginning this weekend! Here's a list of places to go and things to do related to the fun!

On Friday, October 25th:

Haunted Lab at the Science Museum of Western Virginia- Join in on the fun for all ages! There will be costume contest for different age groups, evil genius science demos, gruesome games, bizarre bugs, mechanized monsters, and so much more! The Haunted Lab happens on Friday and Saturday beginning at 6pm. Tickets are available on the Museum's website.

Halloween at the Penny Deux Lounge-Join us for our third annual Halloween Bash featuring the Lazy Man Dub Band! This is a free show so wear your favorite costume, naughty or nice, and come out to play. This is always a scary-fun night in the lounge and should be CRAZY-fun with LMDB!

On Saturday, October 26th:

Trick or Treating on the Market- Starting at 10am, bring the kids down to the Historic Roanoke City Market to Trick or Treat with our friendly farmers! We'll have fun on the Market with facepainting, glitter tattoos, and trick or treating for the kids! Come early and in costume!

K92's Boo Bash at Awful Arthur's- beginning at 8pm, K92's Boo Bash will bring the party inside AND outside, with a portion of Market Street closed off! The whole night will be hosted by Danny, Zack, and Miss Monica, there will be a Costume Contest, $1,292 in prizes (including group and individual categories), music by DJ Flex, and tons more!

Corned Beef and Co.'s Annual Halloween Party- Over the years, many have spoken about a spirit lurking within the walls of this old building we call Corned Beef and Company. They say the ghost, "Evie" sometimes reveals herself to closing managers here late and by themselves. She's also known to show herself when summoned at our annual Halloween party...Come out Saturday night to party and celebrate the day of the dead! Featuring Costume Contests and giveaways all night long!

202 Market's Massive Halloween Party- This Saturday the BIGGEST Halloween Party is happening at 202. It's Jammin JJS's Crazy, Sexy, Scary Halloween Jam!! Prizes, prizes and more prizes!! First place for best overall costume wins a trip for 2 to Greensboro including 2 tickets to see Jay Z in concert, a two night stay in a suite AND $250 in spending cash. We will also be giving away first and second place CASH prizes in THREE different categories; Craziest, Sexiest AND Scariest - $100 for 1st and $50 for 2nd. DJ Jo Jo Soprano and Deejay Ed provide the music - DO NOT MISS out on Roanoke's BIGGEST Halloween party with the BIGGEST giveaways in town!!

Martin's Downtown's Halloween Bash with Shorefire!- Come check out Martin's as Shorefire takes over for a 'killer' night! The fun kicks off at 9pm and includes a costume contest! There's no cover, so drop by any time!  

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Sundays in Downtown Are Growing

When was the last time you stopped in Downtown on a Sunday? With so many businesses now offering Sunday hours, it is quickly becoming a favorite day for shoppers and diners alike!

Here's a comprehensive list of businesses that are open on Sundays:

 Dining Options
202 Market- 202 Market Square
501 Speakeasy- 501 Campbell Avenue SW
Alejandro’s- 127 Campbell Avenue SE
Awful Aurthur’s- 108 Campbell Avenue SE
Bayou Snowballs- 32 Market Square
Beamer’s 25- 357 Salem Avenue SW
Benny Marconi’s- 120 E Campbell Avenue
Billy’s- 102 Market Street
Blue’s BBQ Co.- 107 Market Street
Cornerstone Bar and Grill- 24 Campbell Ave SW
Firefly Fare- 32 Market Square
Fork in the City- 551 Marshall Avenue
Fork in the Market- 32 Market Square (inside the City Market Building)
Formosa Lounge- 125 Campbell Avenue SE
Frogurt- 118-B Campbell Avenue SE
Habana Café- 32 Market Square (inside the City Market Building)
Jack Brown’s Beer and Burger Joint- 210 B Market Street
Macado’s- 120 Church Avenue SW
Metro- 14 E Campbell Avenue
Mill Mountain Coffee and Tea- 117 Campbell Avenue SE
Nawab- 118-A Campbell Avenue SE
The Regency Room- 110 Shenandoah Avenue NE (inside the Hotel
Subway Downtown- 102 Jefferson Street S
Texas Tavern- 114 Church Avenue W
Thai Continental Cuisine- 106 Market Street
Thelma’s Chicken and Waffles- 315 Market Street
Shopping Options
310 Rosemont- 312 Market Street
Calhoun and Kipp- 216 Market Street
The Candy Store- 122 Campbell Avenue E
Chocolatepaper- 308-3 Market Street
Gone CoCo Boutique- 302 Market Street
La De Da- 102 Church Avenue E
Ladles and Linens- 305 Market Street
Native Grace- 308 Market Street
Orvis- 19 Campbell Avenue
Roanoke Natural Foods Co-Op- 1 Market Square
Sumdat Farm Market and Wine Shop- 209-A Market Street
Villages of Africa- 307 Market Street
Walkabout Outfitter- 301 Market Street

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Process to Update Downtown Roanoke Plan to Begin

Roanoke, VA - The City of Roanoke and Downtown Roanoke, Inc. (DRI) are kicking off the process for a new long-range plan for Downtown Roanoke. The current plan, Outlook Roanoke Update, was adopted by City Council in 2002. The public will be invited to attend the following meetings and provide input on the future of Downtown Roanoke:

• Sept. 11, 11:30 a.m. - 2:30 p.m., Charter Hall, City Market Building, drop in/open house format.
• Sept. 25, 6 - 7:30 p.m., Charter Hall, City Market Building.
• Oct. 17, 6 - 7:30 p.m., Virginia Museum of Transportation

In the October meeting, city staff will present a summary of input gathered to-date and discuss future steps in the process.

Citizens also will be offered an additional opportunity to participate in the process by clicking on the following link to take a survey: The planning process
will be updated regularly, including additional public meeting schedules, at www.facebook/DowntownPlan2014. For more information, please contact Frederick Gusler at 853-1104 or

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Parking Information for This Weekend

If you are planning to come downtown for the Strawberry Festival and Chili Cook-off on Saturday, May 4, there's plenty of parking available. The City of Roanoke offers free parking at many convenient PARK Roanoke locations all day on Saturday, and parking is free until 4 p.m. at other PARK Roanoke locations.

Free All Day Parking

-Gainsboro Garage (25 Centre Avenue, NW)
-Higher Education Center Lot (23 Centre Avenue, NW)
-Williamson Lot (206 Williamson Road, SE)
-Elmwood Park Garage (402 Williamson Road, SE)
-Elmwood Lot (197 Bullitt Avenue)
-Warehouse Row Lot (123 Salem Avenue, SW)
-Church Avenue Garage (121 Church Avenue, SW)
-Campbell Avenue Garage (335 Campbell Avenue)

Free Parking before 4 p.m., $2 - after 4 p.m.

-Tower Garage (19 Norfolk Avenue, SE)
-Market Garage (25 Church Avenue, SE)
-Market Lot (120 Church Avenue, SE)

Free Parking before 4 p.m., $3 - 4 p.m. to midnight

-Center in the Square Garage (11 Campbell Avenue, SE)

For more information visit

MyRoanoke now offers a category for "Parking" news to include parking special rates, event parking notices, news and information on parking programs such as merchant validations and more. Visit to sign up for this new category.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

The Hotel Roanoke to Refresh the Regency Room

To mark the 75th anniversary of the opening of the Regency Room, The Hotel Roanoke & Conference Center, a DoubleTree by Hilton hotel will be renovating and refreshing the restaurant beginning Wednesday, January 2. 

Dining operations will continue throughout the renovations but will be temporarily relocated to the Shenandoah Ballroom and the Pine Room Pub.  Renovations are expected to be completed by mid-February.

“This investment by the owners of The Hotel Roanoke & Conference Center shows their long-standing commitment to our community, particularly given the difficult economic times we’ve all seen these last few years,” said Gary Walton, general manager of the Hotel Roanoke & Conference Center.  “With this update, we want to honor our heritage – our patrons tell us time and time again that they love the ambience.  But we also want to take the opportunity to invite new guests to experience dining with us.”

New Dining Space

Diners will notice new drapes, upholstery and carpeting, but the largest change will be a wall of opaque French doors that will allow for more intimate dining on one side and the establishment of a private dining facility for groups or meetings on the other.  The new group dining area, dubbed Regency Overlook, will be reserved for functions, such as wedding receptions and corporate lunches or dinners.

In addition, an outdoor dining option will be available during warmer months on the awning-covered veranda.

“The Regency Room is where people go to make statement. They come to celebrate birthdays or anniversaries, congratulate colleagues on their success – and I don’t need to mention the number of couples who get engaged in this restaurant,” said Declan McGettigan, food and beverage director for the Hotel Roanoke & Conference Center.  “We’re making a statement too – giving a nod to our past and welcoming the community to be a part of our future.”

The Food

In addition to Executive Chef Billie Raper, the Regency Room will soon be introducing a new chef committed to fine Southern cuisine. 

“She’s dynamite,” said Raper, playing coy about who exactly is coming on board. “You’ll meet her soon enough…and you’ll love her cooking.  She strikes the perfect balance – tipping her hat to the culinary history of the hotel and introducing new takes to our iconic cuisine.”

During the renovation, the menu will be refreshed as well.  Diners will see previous dishes from years past make a comeback with a twist, but they will also see the familiar comfort food they’ve known for years.

“Peanut soup, spoon bread, bananas foster and Steak Diane are staples,” said Raper.  “But we want our guests to discover some new favorites as well.”

Activities Planned

Throughout the renovation process, diners can partake in special events to celebrate the culinary heritage of the Regency Room.  Specials and events are being created to celebrate the continued legacy The Regency Room has had in the Roanoke Valley.  The culinary team is preparing menu planning exercises to help cultivate and garner feedback from diners with plans to take the Regency Room "On the Road" at special venues throughout the renovation process. 


Designated as a National Historic Landmark, the Hotel Roanoke & Conference Center has 331 luxuriously appointed guestrooms and a 63,000-square-foot, high-tech conference center. It is a joint project of Hotel Roanoke LLC, the City of Roanoke and Virginia Tech and is managed as a Doubletree by Hilton Hotel by the Hilton Hotels Corporation.