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Former pro baseball player opens BBQ restaurant in Grandin Village

ROANOKE, Va. – A Roanoke baseball legend has traded his bat for barbecue.

George Canale and his wife recently opened Canale's Ham & BBQ right next to the Grandin Village post office.

Canale, a Cave Spring High School graduate, played three seasons for the Milwaukee Brewers and still holds Virginia Tech's record for career home runs.

He says the restaurant is a continuation of a restaurant his uncles owned and operated in Memphis for more than 40 years. Canale says he was inspired by watching them serve meals to the early morning crowd and hopes to do the same for Roanoke.

"They would get up at about 3 in the morning, be at the shop around 4, and start making ham and turkey sandwiches," Canale said. "They would have them ready for the construction workers and the painters, the people going to work early that need a sandwich."

Canale says the restaurant uses a barbecue recipe passed down from his uncles. He plans to mainly focus on grab and go orders.