ROANOKE, Va. – Generations of Roanokers know the taste of Texas Tavern, and its unique legacy has reached a new decade.
The restaurant is celebrating its 90th anniversary. Texas Tavern has been at the same location on Church Street SW since it opened in 1930. Matt Bullington and his family have owned it since the beginning.
“Sometimes, I’ll have four generations of customers sitting at the counter,” said Bullington.
Bullington said most of Texas Tavern is the same as it was in 1930, from the menu to the seats.
“The tavern is authentic. It’s authentic, and people come back to that," Bullington said. “Bricklayers, senators, bankers, people that just got out of jail and every walk of life in between. This is a temple of democracy.”
Roanoke native Nicole Hypes is among the Texas Tavern faithful. She said her family have been regulars at the restaurant since before she was born.
“I go every day during the workweek," Hypes said. "Monday through Friday, this is my go-to lunch spot.”
Hypes believes the restaurant is one of the most important places in all of Roanoke.
“The Texas Tavern is just as important as the [Mill Mountain] Star,” Hypes said. “It’s just an iconic landmark, there’s nothing like it. You see the arrow with the ‘eat’ sign and you know Texas Tavern. That is Roanoke.”
Texas Tavern will serve 90-cent chili and hamburgers on Saturday in commemoration of its 90th anniversary. The special is valid from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.