To see more pictures of Beamer’s 25, check out this photo gallery by Rebecca Barnett.
Beamer’s 25, a new downtown Roanoke restaurant inspired by Virginia Tech football coach Frank Beamer, will kick off with a grand opening on Saturday evening. This week, on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday nights, the restaurant fired up the kitchen and tested the staff with a pre-opening celebration.
Owner Stephan Parry didn’t divulge many details about the food in earlier talks, but when we visited on Thursday night the focus was all over the menu. Beamer’s 25 American Burger House specializes in gourmet hamburgers, with 14 different versions of the popular sandwich. It also serves salads, sandwiches, hot dogs and a few steak and seafood entrees, along with appetizers and desserts.
When I walked through the heavy glass doors, I was immediately struck by the industrial vibe inside the restaurant. At first it seemed spartan, but I quickly began to notice interesting details everywhere. This included huge, bare wood columns that are original to the warehouse structure, beautiful refinished wood floors and a white jersey number on the corner of each table.
In addition to tables, the restaurant has three 4-top booths, two 2-tops and a long banquette upholstered in dark yellow fabric. On the other side of the banquette is a good-sized bar and several bar tables. The kitchen is exposed and the restaurant has a small banquet room that can be closed off with glass doors.
Jordan Peace, manager of Beamer’s 25, told me the menu we saw this week is still subject to change in the coming days, so keep that in mind as I mention some of the dishes it featured. Overall, it seemed a upscale version of the kind of dishes folks like to eat while they watch their favorite sports, but Peace said they wanted Beamer’s 25 to be thought of as a restaurant that also has a bar rather than a sports bar that happens to sell food.
This week, appetizers included fried pickles, Vidalia rings, Hokie wings and the housemade beanless Beamer’s chili. The Stadium Salads section of the menu included a B.L.T. salad, an Italian chopped salad, and a Waldorf salad with grilled salmon. A few sandwiches included the Boardwalk, which I tried. That’s a big crabcake with very little filler on an artisan-like bun with shredded cabbage, red onion, bread and butter pickles and tartar sauce.
Rebecca Barnett, the photographer who accompanied me, ordered from the long burger selection. According to the menu, the restaurant “proudly serves naturally raised, corn-fed, preservatives free Angus beef specially blended by Wolverine Packing of Detroit, Michigan.”
Rebecca had the Stevo, a hamburger topped with a fried egg, applewood-smoked bacon, red onion, cheddar and mayo. I joked that she needed to unhinge her jaw like a snake in order to take a bite of the huge burger. Other specialty burgers included the New Yorker topped with pastrami, slaw, Swiss and brown mustard; the Soprano with fried salami, capicola, hot yellow peppers, provolone and chipotle remoulade; and the Chilly with chili, onion and cheddar. They also may offer a turkey burger with avocado and other goodies and the Banh Mi, a ground pork patty with cucumber, carrots, pickled ginger, cilantro and hot mayo. They also have sliders.
Parry explained to me that Coach Beamer is one of several investors in the restaurant.The number 25 was his jersey number. Beamer wasn’t there on Thursday night (I guess he had something else going on – ha) but the place was packed with staff and managers. The bar looked like a fun place to hang out, with five big-screen televisions and 24 craft beers on tap. They also serve wine and mixed drinks.
Leigh Farmer, a spokesperson for Parry’s restaurant group, said they will serve dinner only until about mid-October, at which time they’d like to start opening for lunch. That exact date is still up in the air.
357 Salem Ave. SW, Roanoke
Hours: Sunday through Thursday, 5 to 10 p.m.; Friday and Saturday, 5 p.m. to midnight
Stephan Parry is already a successful restaurateur. He owns the following businesses: Fry’s Spring Station (Charlottesville), Q Barbeque (multiple locations), Downtown Grille (Charlottesville), Shoemakers Grille (Lynchburg), Sette Pizza (Richmond), Waterstone Pizza (Lynchburg), Jefferson Street Brewery (Lynchburg) and The Craddock-Terry Hotel (Lynchburg).
If you go to Beamer’s let us know what you think.