‘It’s been a challenge’: Roanoke family pushes through setbacks, launching two businesses during pandemic

Uncle D’s Takeout and The Grey Goose of Grandin have overcome obstacles due to COVID-19

A Roanoke power couple has turned two dream into a major business move during the pandemic.

ROANOKE, Va. – Last year, amidst his retirement, Dan Curtis knew it was time to pursue his lifelong dream.

“I was in the golf business for 35 years and it was always a passion of mine to open a restaurant,” explained Curtis.

That’s when Uncle D’s Takeout was born. Don’t let the name fool you, you are able to eat at the restaurant on Electric Road as well.

“We do have five tables and we encourage people to come in here and eat. But it is in the name, so everything leaves the kitchen in a bag,” said Curtis.

From Italian favorites to country comforts, the menu has a little something for everybody. Unfortunately, the pandemic caused speedbumps for many small businesses.

“It was very difficult in COVID, from staffing, to supply, customers were very leery about going out,” he added.

LEFT: The Grey Goose of Grandin RIGHT: Uncle D's Take Out (WSLS 10)

Curtis isn’t the only one in the family who recently launched his own business, across town, his wife, Karen, runs The Grey Goose of Grandin. She has also been dealing with COVID issues since she opened shop in 2020 on Grandin Road.

“It’s been a challenge. I’m a one-man band, and so when I’m exposed I have to close,” she said.

In two years, one family launched two small businesses. With help from their daughters and each other, they overcame plenty of obstacles.

“I fill in when his folks over there at work have COVID, I’ve filled in a few shifts so I’m the salad girl,” said Karen.

They say it takes a village to start a business, but in this case, it takes a family.

About the Author:

Alyssa Rae grew up in Roanoke and graduated from Virginia Tech. An avid sports fan, she spent her first 8 years in TV as a sports anchor and reporter.