The Roanoker Restaurant was started on July 1, 1941 at 11 South Jefferson Street in downtown Roanoke by Crafton Warren and two friends. They began as a limited partnership with $600. World War II broke out 6 months later and both partners were called to other areas. Crafton and his wife Florence stayed and operated the Restaurant and served as civilian neighborhood volunteers and packed food to feed soldiers on troop trains stopping in Roanoke. After the War, his partners sold their share to Crafton and the Roanoker continued to serve Good Food at Good Prices with a staff of 10 people and seating for 50 people. His cook, Cordelia “Knookie” Clarkson had 4 sisters who would all work at the Restaurant at one time or another. He was never sure which sister would show up each day, but one of them always did. At times the sisters would call their mother for advice and then write the recipe on the wall next to the phone. One night the landlord painted the Restaurant and all the recipes were lost, but only for a short time until they decided to write them in a note book.
“Serving Roanoke since 1941!”
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The Roanoker Restaurant
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