The economy has taken its toll on Roanoke, and in some cases the restaurants industry. It has been a tough year for some in downtown Roanoke, as star city mainstays like Tudors Biscuit World and Horizons have had to close because of rising cost of business.
"We really want to build the economy that is what our goal is for downtown Roanoke," says Matt Klepisez.
Coming on the heels of something seen as a negative, Klepisez with Downtown Roanoke INC. is hoping to turn things around and bring some positive to the star city. For years they have been working together with restaurants to launch a new idea called downtown Roanoke restaurant week, a concept seen in many other cities. Finally enough restaurants came together to make it possible this year.
"It is not just economic related, and all though the economy has spiked downward a little bit, it is beginning to rebound, and I think people are starting to see that and I think this is going to be the push people will need to get downtown," says Klepisez.
For one week in January several places in downtown Roanoke will offer specials. The first one is for lunch that will cost 10 dollars and include lunch, a side item, and a drink. One dinner option will be for 20 dollars, and another will be for 30 dollars.
Billy's is one of many places participating.
"I am hoping it is a huge surge of business," says Colin Jones, the general manager of Billy's.
Jones has run restaurants in other cities during restaurant weeks, and says it benefits not only the customers by offering a good deal but the businesses.
"I think any little bit helps, January and July is when you typically run restaurant weeks, and it helps downtown Roanoke restaurants at the slowest time of the year," says Jones.
And by picking up the pace, Jones hopes to see the idea be a success and even have it be something that happens every year.
For a list of participating Restaurants visit: