Construction on the long-awaited Roanoke Steak ‘n Shake began Tuesday, nearly a year after the restaurant was supposed to open.
On Tuesday afternoon an excavator and front loader broke up the blacktop and graded dirt at the site off Hershberger Road at Crossroads Mall.
Lee Garvin, the franchisee’s director of real estate and development, said construction typically takes about 100 days, with the restaurant opening a week after construction is complete. That puts the opening date about March, weather permitting.
The restaurant, known for its steak burgers and hand-dipped milkshakes, first announced it was coming to Roanoke the summer of 2011. The franchisee, Steaks of Virginia, planned a December 2011 opening. But delays with other restaurants the franchisee built throughout Virginia set back the Roanoke project, Garvin has said.
Nearby, construction is progressing rapidly on a Cook Out restaurant. Jake Copty, a broker for Thalhimer which handled the sale of the land to Cook Out, said the restaurant hopes to open by the first of the year. It might seem ambitious, but Copty said the company broke ground on the restaurant the day the bought the land, which in his experience is almost unheard of.