Roanoke City Market Building planning for bump in customers - WSLS 10 NBC in Roanoke/Lynchburg Va

Roanoke City Market Building planning for bump in customers

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DOWNTOWN ROANOKE -

With snow or the threat of snow closing plenty of schools Wednesday, the Roanoke City Market Building had a quiet opening.

But some restaurants are saying quiet isn't an accurate description.

Despite winter traditionally being a slow time, restaurants like Fork in the Market said business has been steady.

That's thanks in part to more events inside the Market Building.

"The main thing we want to do is drive activity to the market," said Hall & Associates LLC Managing Partner Roger Elkin. His company runs the Market Building.

He said the start of Sunday concerts has helped draw more customers on a traditionally dead day.

With that in mind Elkin is working together with Downtown Roanoke Inc. to bring part of Shamrock Fest, which is less than two weeks away, inside as well.

But the restaurants in the Market Building have their collective eye on May.

That's when Center in the Square will once again be open across the street.

"I expect to have increased activity," Elkin said. When Center in the Square re-opens we're going to see an additional half million visitors a year downtown."

The more people downtown the better said Angie Foreman, a server with Fork in the Market.

"We definitely notice a huge pop of people come in once these events come in because there is just so much traffic downtown," she said.

From Elkin's perspective that traffic can't come soon enough.

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