The River and Rail, a new restaurant located inside the storied building that once housed Lipes Pharmacy in South Roanoke, will officially open on Thursday night (June 14) at 5 p.m.
The owners, two couples named Whit and Lauren Ellerman and Lee and Karri Atwood, have had the entire interior redone, right down to the beautiful hardwood floors. Everything was sourced as locally as possible, according to Whit Ellerman, including the furniture. You can see photographs of the finished interior on The River and Rail Facebook page.
Although they have not yet loaded photos onto the official website, you’ll find other information about the restaurant there, including a sample menu (meaning that it has likely completely changed since it was posted). Head Chef Aaron Deal is a rising star with a 4-diamond restaurant rating and a James Beard award nomination on his resume. He could also boast about his appearance on CBS’ “The Early Show” or accolades in such national publications as Gourmet, Southern Living and Travel + Leisure, but Deal is not that kind of guy.
In fact, when I asked him about that for this November 2011 article, he said, “I’m just a cook. Truthfully, the thing that makes me really excited about being a chef is doing it for other people and, I think, realizing that I can be creative and learn different things every day, every minute, by cooking.”
Here are a couple of highlights from the sample menu (likely to be different when you go, but this gives you an idea of the kind of food they’re doing):
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