What’s on the Menu?: Hotel Roanoke

A number of our archivists (myself included) are attended a conference this Thursday, Friday, and Saturday (or some combination of those days). Lucky for us, it’s being held in our own backyard, just up I-81 in Roanoke. More specifically, it’s at the historic Hotel Roanoke (you can read some highlights of its history online). Special Collections includes a few resources that can give you more information on the Hotel Roanoke, from architectural plans to local history. We can also tell you a little something about dining there! We have a small collection of menus, including the below.

This particular menu is the most “mysterious” of the bunch, in that it doesn’t have a date. Judging by the photograph in the menu, one might guess 1920s, but I’m still not sure of that. (The collection also has a menu from 1942 and several from the 1990s.) As you can see, it’s a wide-ranging menu for any meal–though to be honest, I kept fixating on the recurrence of “kraut juice.” Seems like an interesting item, but someone must have enjoyed it! While I don’t expect to be dining for those prices on my visit, it’s nice to know that the Hotel Roanoke is still around and continuing to build on over 130 years of tradition.

We have a few other collections with menus, as well as a other menus in this particular collection, so stay tuned for future posts on dining history. You’re welcome to visit us for a menu (prix) fixe, but if you can’t, there are also some amazing digital menu collections online. Visit our Food & Drink History Resources guide and scroll down to the bottom of the page for a list. Until next week, good dining!

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