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Roanoker Restaurant celebrates 75 years in Roanoke

ROANOKE (WSLS 10) - The Roanoker Restaurant has been known for its southern cooking and service for decades. Now, it's celebrating its 75th anniversary.

Owner Butch Craft says of the milestone, "I think that's a long time."

It's a long time, particularly for an independently owned restaurant.

"I think it's pretty remarkable and to have done it with the same philosophy that Crafton Warren started it with in 1941," she said.

Crafton Warren opened the original Roanoker on South Jefferson 75 years ago. Craft became owner in 2006, after buying it from Warren's son, EC Warren. Through the years, Craft says the philosophy has remained the same.

"Just consistently good food, fair price, in a friendly atmosphere. We do it the same way."

The restaurant, which started with 10 employees, now employs 70. Nearly 10 of them are celebrating working for the restaurant for more than 35 years.

"The secret is the people. People relating to our guests is a big part. The food is important but I really do believe that the people make the business."

When it comes to the food, including the biscuits featured on the Today Show five years ago, not much changes. Craft says that's a good thing.

"People have said you know what about changing up what you do well this is our niche and we've made it 75 years doing this and I don't see any reason to change."

Craft will celebrate the anniversary this week by giving away 2000 prizes through scratch off tickets randomly placed in some menus Tuesday through Friday. (The Roanoker is closed on Mondays.)

"You may win a mug. You may win a T-shirt. You may win 75% off your meal," Craft said.

It's a way to give back to the customers who've been part of it's 75 year history, through the years.