In yesterday’s Front Burner column, I shared some history of The Tearoom in downtown Roanoke and asked readers if they have any memories they can share. Please feel free to leave your thoughts as comments on this blog entry or to email them to me at firstname.lastname@example.org. You may also snail-mail them to P.O. Box 2491, Roanoke, Va. 24010.
If you leave a comment on this blog entry, please indicate whether it is OK for me to use your full name if I quote you in my article. Thank you. Random little note: I know the name of the store has an ampersand instead of the word “and” spelled out, but my blog software, Word Press, wigs out if I try to use ampersands in the title of blog entries.
Here is yesterday’s column:
Seeking Memories of Miller & Rhoads Tearoom
By Lindsey Nair
My friend Jean Robbins has treasured memories of a special activity she used to share with her daughters in the late 1960s, when they were girls.
On certain Saturdays, Jean would leave her husband, Mal, to his gardening while she and their children, Cathy and Leslie, traveled to Miller & Rhoads in Roanoke for a morning of shopping. This was always followed by lunch in the Miller & Rhoads Tearoom, where diners could eat while beautiful models showed off the latest store fashions.
“That was always a neat atmosphere,” said Leslie Spigle, who now lives in Buchanan and has kids of her own. “I think about how we don’t have anything like that today — everybody is in and out of shopping and on their way. It was a really nice, relaxing lunch.”
The five-story department store, which was built in 1957 on an old Heironimus site on Campbell Avenue, was a destination for shoppers from miles around Roanoke. The Roanoke Tearoom was smaller than the one in Miller & Rhoads’ flagship Richmond store, but it still saw plenty of traffic.
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Click these links to see these Miller & Rhoads Tearoom recipes: