UPDATE: I’m told Crock & Roll will have a ribbon cutting on Monday and will open for business officially on Tuesday.
Business reporter and Storefront blogger Jenny Kincaid Boone has reported that a soup restaurant called Crock & Roll is preparing to open in the 23rd Street Shoppes at Towers Mall. This week, I learned the official opening date is scheduled for Monday, Jan. 25.
Crock & Roll (great name) will be a mother-son operation for Bonnie and Charles Hooper. Mr. Hooper is originally of Salem and graduated from North Cross School before leaving Southwest Virginia to find work experience in New York and the West Coast. He has a lot of restaurant experience, so I’m hopeful that he’ll be able to make this work. His mom, Bonnie, is a native of New Orleans, and they plan to serve her chicken gumbo, along with many other varieties of homemade soup. The restaurant will also have fresh bread and salad.
In the news release I got this week, Charles Hooper says “We are looking to bring in the newest food trend – soup – to Roanoke ahead of the curve.” I guess I never realized that soup was a new trend. Perhaps it’s a trend in L.A., where he lived most recently, to devote restaurants entirely to soup. We used to have just such a restaurant — remember Howard’s Soup Kitchen? Mr. Hooper also said he noticed a lack of good quality soups in the area. I think they can be found here and there, but I do agree that it will be nice to be able to go to an eatery that concentrates solely on the quality of their soups and hopefully serves them HOT instead of tepid! Now there’s a restaurant pet peeve of mine!
The Hoopers plan to serve their soups in 15 oz. crocks, with bread, for $6.50 to $7.50. They will also serve savory bread puddings in the evenings, and plan to use some local ingredients. The hours will be Monday through Friday from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Saturdays from 11 a.m.-4 p.m.
I think the Hoopers are smart to open while the weather is still cool, and I hope they have a good air conditioning system they can crank up in the summertime. Will you all try this restaurant? Do you think the location and the pricing will work? Any requests or advice for them?