Stephen’s Restaurant has been a stalwart in Roanoke for nearly 27 years. Many a diner has celebrated a special occasion with gourmet seafood, steak and other culinary treasures prepared by Stephen Foster Sr. at the Franklin Road establishment.
But starting next week, the owners will focus only on special events. Stephen’s will no longer be open for evening dining.
Do not interpret this news as a closing announcement for Stephen’s. The restaurant will continue to serve patrons at prearranged private functions such as business dinners, family gatherings, wine tasting dinners, rehearsal dinners and the like.
“We’re going to focus on that pretty much exclusively,” Stephen Foster Sr. said this week, “and we’re not going to be doing evening dining.”
“We’re trying to ease it down just a little bit,” he said.
Stephen’s, which opened in 1987, has long been known for its gourmet seafood dinners and Louisiana fare. Those who drive by are probably familiar with the banner announcing the availability of soft shell crabs, one of the restaurant’s specialties. Stephen Foster Sr. has been cooking there for many years; for the past 5 or 6, he has been assisted by his wife, Linda.
Their sons, Stephen Jr. and Collen, will continue to run the business while their parents cook. Stephen Jr. is a certified sommelier, his father said, so they’ll have wine tasting dinners and theme dinners that will be open to the general public. The available menus will be very similar to what the restaurant has always offered. The dinners will be advertised in advance.
Foster Sr. said this change will give him and his wife a chance to spend more time with their seven grandchildren, but they are aware that many regulars will be disappointed to learn the restaurant will no longer keep regular hours.
“We feel real bad about the many customers we have,” he said. “We are so thankful for that over the years.”
Saturday is the restaurant’s last day for regular hours. If you have an unused gift certificate, contact the restaurant at 344-7203 to exchange it for cash or apply it to a future event.