‘Such a bitter sweet and emotional decision’: The Homeplace will not reopen

Restaurant closed in October and hoped to reopen sometime this year

The Homeplace Restaurant will not reopen
The Homeplace Restaurant will not reopen

CATAWBA, Va. – A Roanoke County favorite is not returning.

On Monday, the Wingate family announced The Homeplace Restaurant will not be reopening.

The extremely-popular restaurant, located in the Catawba area of the county, closed on Oct. 18, 2020, due to its signature “pack ‘em in” family-style eating not working amidst a global pandemic.

The Wingate family, who runs the popular restaurant, released this statement on Monday:

As a family, with extended family and friends included, we have had many discussions, reflections, tears, and laughs, along with many prayers, trying to see the best path for the future of our business, and our family as a whole. In conclusion, we have decided to not reopen The Homeplace Restaurant.

We are so thankful that we have had the opportunity to serve the Catawba Valley, the Roanoke community, and beyond for 38 plus years. The support we have been given has been beyond amazing.

All those years ago, Harold Wingate (Dad) had a dream that many folks thought just couldn’t come true. It did come true, and we were blessed to run a family business for a long time.

After Covid hit, we were closed for 10 plus months, with a small window of 4 months with takeout, including a few weeks trying to have limited indoor dining.

There are many factors to be taken into consideration when trying to bring a business back up and running, especially after the circumstances we have been facing.

Again, our heartfelt thanks to our employees, our loyal customers, and many others for the prayers, support, and love you have shown over the years.

This is such a bitter sweet and emotional decision for our family. We ask for no interviews at this time.

With our sincere thanks, The Wingate Family

In the days before the restaurant closed, hundreds of people came out to have a final meal at the establishment of more than 38 years.

At the time of the October closure, Kevin Wingate, the restaurant’s general manager, told 10 News he hoped this wouldn’t be the end of the establishment.

“Maybe when the restrictions are lifted and we can get our restaurant back at a better capacity, we are looking, you know, possibly, possibly, to reopen,” said Wingate.

Below is one of the stories 10 News did during the restaurant’s final days before its October closure.

Rush of customers in response to closure
Rush of customers in response to closure

Below is a look at how crowded things were at the final Thursday of the restaurant, on Oct. 15, 2020.

It's certainly busy at The Homeplace Restaurant tonight! One diner tells us there's a 3-hour wait! The restaurant will be closing indefinitely after Sunday: https://10.wsls.com/31b4Lgt (📷: Jim Graves)

Posted by WSLS 10 / WSLS.com on Thursday, October 15, 2020

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