Roanoke restaurant owner dies after battle with cancer

Mike Caudill loved to cook, kayak and attend concerts.
Published: Aug. 12, 2022 at 7:06 PM EDT
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ROANOKE, Va. (WDBJ) -The Roanoke restaurant community is mourning the loss of one of its own.

Mike Caudill, chef and co-owner of the restaurant Table 50 in Roanoke, died Thursday.

When customers dined at Table 50 on Market Street they would frequently run into Caudill. In the 16 years the restaurant’s been open, many times Caudill would come out of the kitchen to greet people and frequently talked about his culinary creations or the homemade limoncello.

Caudill usually had a beaming smile on his face and he had a big personality.

“Mike was a very loved character and he was a character,” said Table 50 co-owner Eric DiLauro. “The outpouring of our customers and friends and people that have known us since [the] 16 years we’ve been in business. It’s been nice, the support.”

Caudill graduated from Cave Spring High School and went on to Roanoke College and The Culinary Institute of America.

He was passionate about creating dishes and interacting with customers, and when he wasn’t in the restaurant he loved being outdoors, kayaking, hiking, watching live music and being with his family, according to friends.

Caudill had been battling lung cancer since a diagnosis in July 2021, according to DiLauro, but it was still a shock to hear he had passed. DiLauro had just seen him Monday.

DiLauro and Caudill both worked together at Frankie Rowlands steakhouse with DiLauro as the general manager and Caudill as a chef. After working there for several years the two decided to open their own restaurant.

The restaurant name has a connection to their days at Frankie’s.

“The round table in the back corner at Frankie’s is Table 50,” said DiLauro. “Mike and I are terrible at naming restaurants so when my wife Whitney was like ' Why don’t you name it Table 50?,’ we did.”

Mike Caudill was 52 years old.

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