In last week’s column, I shared a treasure trove of vintage black-and-white photos of now-closed Roanoke restaurants.
As expected, the “blast from the past,” as several readers called it, resulted in a pile of comments and requests for more old pictures.
Before I share some of that feedback, I want to explain more about these photos. Starting in about the mid-’60s, prints of Roanoke Times photographs were saved in our library. In the early to mid-’90s, we stopped archiving prints of pictures and started saving them as digital files. That practice saved space, but it’s a lot more fun to flip through tangible copies.
Pictures older than the ’60s are stored on microfilm — these replicas of the newspaper go back to the 1890s. None of this content is available to the general public, but you can search newspaper archives on microfilm at the library.
The photos for last week’s feature came from those prints stored between the 1960s and the 1990s, which explains why some restaurants that were open in earlier or later years did not appear in the piece.
Judging by the reaction of some readers to the collection we published, I should have been looking harder for photographic evidence of a few restaurants in particular. But before I get to the most-requested list, let’s look at some of the fun memories that were conjured by last week’s column.
To continue reading, please click here, then click on the column title.
To see a few more pictures, click “read more.”
About the above picture: I have been unable to determine when this was taken or the name of this restaurant. It looks like the space that now houses Billy’s in downtown Roanoke. Any guesses? If you know something about this shot, please leave a comment.