The Roanoke Weiner Stand has been around for 107 years
Six generations of my family have eaten at the Roanoke Weiner Stand on the City Market. Relatives and inlaws who return to the Star City always want to go there and load up on the famous hotdogs that have been around since 1916. This has been difficult in recent years because during COVID-19 the market location shut down for a while.
According to the then-manager, they could not get employees who wanted to work so they closed for a number of months but eventually reopened. The business used to have standing room only when it was on the corner of Campbell Ave where Center in the Square now resides but things changed with the new location after the pandemic.
Changing hours and demographics make a difference
There are not as many people coming to Downtown Roanoke as in decades past and older generations like my mother-in-law and grandmother who frequented the hot dog stand have passed away. I recall buying hotdogs at 7:30 a.m. while my grandma would be in the fish market during the 1980s.
The current location on the market also currently does not have regular hours so I can't just show up whenever as I used to. Several times the person who was supposed to open was not there at 10 a.m. and the owner had to come in and open up. Recently I have noticed when shopping on the market that the Hot Dog King seemed to have a pattern of being closed every other Monday.
Parking Downtown is an issue
I recall the Roanoke Weiner Stand used to take a week of vacation every July but 3 times in recent months including this week the business has been closed. I wanted to place a Doordash order and received a message that I could not order until October 2.
Parking is also an issue that deters people from Downtown. There used to be many streets with 1 or 2-hour free parking but now that's no longer the case. I have heard people say they have gotten frustrated trying to find a parking space and left the area without going to their location.
The Roanoke Weiner Stand needs our support
A call to the Brandon Ave. location revealed that this was another week of vacation. Brandon is much further away so I do not drive there much but have on occasion. Bandon also does not have Doordash. It would be wonderful if the Market location could have reliable staff and customers lined up again and regular hours Monday through Saturday as in the past.
Until then I will go with the flow and continue to support this local business because I enjoy the food as do many others in the Roanoke Valley. It's just disappointing that the effects of the pandemic are still lingering at one of the most famous and beloved restaurants in the area and younger people do not seem to want to work.