New life coming to Roanoke's Wasena neighborhood

Coffee lounge, restaurant and wine bar in the works

By Jessica Jewell - Weekend Anchor / Reporter

ROANOKE, Va. - New life is finally coming to one of the Star City's historic neighborhoods.

Efforts to revitalize Wasena have been in the works for years and now we're starting to see progress that some say will transform the neighborhood.

Steffon Randolph took a chance, opening his pop-up coffee shop, RND Coffee, in a shared space on Main Street in November 2017.

"It just seemed like a space with a whole lot of potential that was maybe a little bit underutilized," Steffon Randolph said.

Now his business is thriving. He and his brother Quincy are expanding with a new coffee lounge right next door.

"Everybody's excited to see something new sort of revitalize things and so to be a part of that, I think, is a unique opportunity at least," Steffon Randolph said.

"It’s a super exciting time to be in Wasena and people have just been telling me, 'You came at the best time. You came at the best time,’" Quincy Randolph said.

Not only is the new coffee lounge in the works, but there’s also a new restaurant and wine bar called Bloom under construction right across the street.

The new businesses are joining retailers that have popped up recently and successful staples that have breathed new life into a once struggling, now strong neighborhood.

"Thankfully, they've created this sort of community center village, which you see in Grandin and how that's grown, and, hopefully, we'll see that happening here," Roanoke economic development specialist Lisa Soltis said.

"I’m just stoked that it's all, it's happening at once," Quincy Randolph said.

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