Former owner of The Roanoker restaurant releases cookbook with customer favorites

Their new book, ‘81 Years of Food and Family,’ is now available for purchase

ROANOKE, Va. – You could soon have some of your favorite dishes from a beloved Roanoke restaurant in your kitchen.

Butch Craft put her heart and soul into the Roanoker Restaurant. Now, she’s paying homage to 81 years of the restaurant, after its unexpected closure in late May.

“Because we couldn’t carry the restaurant on due to numerous circumstances, it makes me feel good that we’ve honored our history,” Craft said.

Craft and her daughter-in-law co-authored a cookbook entitled “81 Years of Food and Family.”

“We wanted to do it because the Warrens that started the restaurant were such great people,” Craft said. “And we wanted to honor the fact that we were in business 81 years.”

The book takes you on a journey of the rich history of the Roanoker, including all five of its locations over the years.

The book is filled with 17 recipes, some of which include the original, handwritten instructions.

“It was going through many tubs, many scrapbooks,” she said.

Craft broke down recipes into family-size portions.

“When you start out with 100 pounds of potatoes for potato salad and you break it down to five people or six people, we had to do a lot,” she said.

She even tested all of the recipes herself at home.

“We had a lot of fun doing it. I bought more groceries in that period of time than I have since we’ve lived here. Because we always ate at the restaurant,” she said.

Craft had a hard time narrowing down what went into the book, but ended up with favorites like potato salad, mac and cheese, and chicken salad.

“We knew the things that sold and the things that they loved the best, so we tried to pull from that,” she said. “But we could have gone on and put 40 recipes in there, but it was difficult. And I think we did what is best.”

Even though the restaurant is now closed, Craft hopes the legacy lives on in the homes of the families it once served.

“I’m glad we did it, it brought back great memories,” she said.

The book is available to order at Book No Further while supplies last.

About the Author:

Abbie Coleman officially joined the WSLS 10 News team in January 2023.