Regency Room Restoration Coming

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Roanoke’s longest standing fine-dining establishment gets a facelift

To mark the 75th anniversary of the opening of the Regency Room, The Hotel Roanoke & Conference Center will be renovating and refreshing the restaurant beginning Wednesday, January 2.

Dining operations will continue throughout the renovations but will be temporarily relocated to the Shenandoah Ballroom and the Pine Room Pub.  Renovations are expected to be completed by mid-February.

“This investment by the owners of The Hotel Roanoke & Conference Center shows their long-standing commitment to our community, particularly given the difficult economic times we’ve all seen these last few years,” said Gary Walton, general manager of the Hotel Roanoke & Conference Center.  “With this update, we want to honor our heritage – our patrons tell us time and time again that they love the ambience.  But we also want to take the opportunity to invite new guests to experience dining with us.”

Diners will notice new drapes, upholstery and carpeting, but the largest change will be a wall of opaque French doors that will allow for more intimate dining on one side and the establishment of a private dining facility for groups or meetings on the other.  The new group dining area, dubbed Regency Overlook, will be reserved for functions, such as wedding receptions and corporate lunches or dinners.

In addition, an outdoor dining option will be available during warmer months on the awning-covered veranda.

“The Regency Room is where people go to make a statement. They come to celebrate birthdays or anniversaries, congratulate colleagues on their success – and I don’t need to mention the number of couples who get engaged in this restaurant,” said Food and Beverage Director Declan McGettigan. “We’re making a statement too – giving a nod to our past and welcoming the community to be a part of our future.”

In addition to Executive Chef Billie Raper, the Regency Room will soon be introducing a new chef committed to fine Southern cuisine.

“She’s dynamite,” said Raper, playing coy about who exactly is coming on board. “You’ll meet her soon enough…and you’ll love her cooking.  She strikes the perfect balance – tipping her hat to the culinary history of the hotel and introducing new takes to our iconic cuisine.”

During the renovation, the menu will be refreshed as well.  Diners will see previous dishes from years past make a comeback with a twist, but they will also see the familiar comfort food they’ve known for years.

“Peanut soup, spoon bread, bananas foster and Steak Diane are staples,” said Raper.  “But we want our guests to discover some new favorites as well.”

Throughout the renovation process, diners can partake in special events to celebrate the culinary heritage of the Regency Room.  Specials and events are being created to celebrate the continued legacy that the hotel has had in the Roanoke Valley.  The culinary team is preparing menu planning exercises to help cultivate and garner feedback from diners with plans to take the Regency Room “On the Road” at special venues throughout the renovation process.