Today’s Front Burner column is about the renovations going on at Hotel Roanoke’s 74-year-old Regency Room. Expect the same elegance with an update, plus a menu with new locally sourced offerings.
The column begins below.
Hotel Roanoke is the grand old lady of the Star City, but it recently became clear that one of her most elegant features was in need of a face-lift.
Remodeling the 74-year-old Regency Room, however, required some difficult decisions by hotel management. They had to strike the perfect balance between modernizing its interior and menu while preserving the qualities that diners expect, including a tasteful, formal atmosphere and signature dishes.
Since the hotel reopened in 1995 after an ownership change and a long closure, the main dining room has had only minor upgrades. The menu was reworked in 2007, but changing times called for an overhaul that could showcase the hotel’s commitment to local food sourcing and contemporary preparations.
While the restaurant is widely known for its lavish buffets, the hotel’s executive chef, Billie Raper, wants diners to also be tempted by the menu offerings.
“We are really hoping that a la carte becomes more of a player,” he said.
If R.L. Lucas Construction of Roanoke continues to work at a rapid clip, the Regency Room will have a soft reopening on Saturday.