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Sunday, July 28, 2013
Roanoke's Red Lobster soon will undergo a major renovation, updating the restaurant's look to resemble architecture found in New England.
Work is scheduled to begin Aug. 19 and includes a complete renovation of the interior and exterior at the restaurant on Franklin Road near Kmart. The Roanoke location is one of 700 restaurants in North America that will be renovated by the end of the year to reflect the new brand image.
Plans call for the restaurant's interior to be gutted. After the renovations, customers will notice new furnishings, LED lighting and nautical decor such as signal flags and seaside-inspired artwork, said Megan Wholey, a spokeswoman for the company.
The bar will be expanded and have a granite countertop and flat-screen televisions.
The layout of the dining area also will change. Booths will be installed, increasing the seating capacity from 224 to 240 people.
The old furnishings from the restaurant will be donated to the Habitat for Humanity resale store in Roanoke, which sells items to raise money for building homes.
Outside, the front of the building will feature a stone tower with new signs. Ship lanterns will light the exterior.
Work should be complete by Oct. 21. The restaurant expects to remain open during the renovations, Wholey said.
The new look, inspired by architecture found in Bar Harbor, Maine, was designed by an internal team of architects and was chosen after several years of focus groups' surveys and market testing, Wholey said.
The Storefront roundup
Here's a roundup of local business news from The Storefront blog:
Chocolate shop reopens: A local chocolate shop has reopened three weeks after the store's air conditioning went out, forcing the business to temporarily close.
Baylee's Best Chocolates reopened last week. The store at the Shoppes at West Village off Electric Road in southwest Roanoke County closed at the beginning of the month when the compressor on the air conditioning unit broke.
"It has been so aggravating because we really had been doing so well," said Bayla Sussman, who owns the chocolate shop.
The repair took weeks because of issues with the unit's warranty and because the repairman couldn't work on the rooftop unit when it was raining, Sussman said.
Sussman had to throw away ruined chocolate but was able to save some sweets in a cold room in the back of the store. She drove to her chocolate supplier in Pennsylvania last week to pick up 300 pounds of chocolate, part of which she'll use to restock the store.
Sussman used the down time to repaint the inside of the store and do a thorough cleaning.
She lost a month's worth of income and said it has her worried about the business.
"I'm hoping that I survive," she said.
Plato's Closet expands: Plato's Closet in southwest Roanoke County has expanded to make room for more merchandise.
The store at Madison Square shopping plaza off Electric Road tore down a wall and transformed its storage space into an additional 1,000 square feet of floor space, owner H.D. Kemp said. The store is now 6,000 square feet.
Plato's Closet is now using the former Direct Buy office space in the back of the building for its storage and office space, Kemp said.
He sought to add more floor space because the racks in the store were double stacked, making the store feel cramped. Now, the racks aren't stacked, the aisles are wider and customers can see from one end of the store to the other.
Plato's Closet closed its Towne Square Shopping Center store and moved to its current location about two years ago. Kemp also owns the Once Upon A Child store at Cave Spring Corners. The Towne Square Once Upon A Child store is under different ownership.
Home decor store opens: Two home decor businesses have merged to create Potentially Chic, which recently opened in Roanoke's Grandin Village.
The restyled home decor business operates out of a small shop on Westover Avenue behind Rockfish Food and Wine.
The owners, Lisa Fuller and Gloria Fox, lost their full-time jobs during the recession. Both women turned their love of repurposing furniture and other home decor items into a business. They each rented a booth at The Mercantile in Salem where they displayed their repurposed home decor and furniture pieces, and where their friendship grew.
When The Mercantile changed ownership and changed its name, the women decided to go into business together.
They search for furniture with interesting lines and a solid structure at thrift stores, yard sales and estate sales. Then they use CeCe Caldwell's chalk- and clay-based paints (which they also sell in the store) to refinish the furniture.
"We take grandma's antiques and restyle them," Fuller said.
Potentially Chic also does custom work, interior decorating consulting and kitchen cabinet makeovers. Fuller and Fox also hold classes that teach participants how to restyle their furniture.
The store is open Tuesday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Saturday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
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