Long-awaited Roanoke Chili’s holds grand opening

ROANOKE, Va. – It’s a day people in the Star City have been waiting for years, if not decades. Chili’s held its grand opening on Monday.

The Chili’s is located on Electric Road in front of Tanglewood Mall.

The opening has sparked excitement for Chili’s fans, as well as curiosity for people making their first trip to the beloved chain restaurant.

Alex Phillips and his family were among the first in line to be served on Monday.

“We’ve been driving by watching them build it for the last few months,” Phillips said. “Just decided to cut out of school and work today and be the first people.”

The Phillips are Chili’s regulars when they’re traveling, and other opening-day customers came to see what the hype is all about.

“This is my first time here at Chili’s,” customer Nick Grene said. “I’ve never come to a Chili’s before, so I’m excited to see what they have.”

This Electric Road Chili’s has seen a big response, not only from customers but also from job seekers. Kim Watkins, director of operations, said they interviewed 600 people for the new store.

“Chili’s culture,” Watkins said. “We are true Chili heads through and through we create the sense of belonging from the get-go.”

In front of Tanglewood Mall, Chili’s is joining the up-and-coming area at the forefront of a revitalization project. General Manager David Pendergast said it’s a project they’re excited to be a part of.

“There’s been a lot of new openings around here,” Pendergast said. “It’s a whole revive for this area, and so we’re very excited to have already gotten our foot in the door and be a staple here.”

About the Author:

Amy Cockerham joined the 10 News team in January 2023.