Roanoke Red Lobster restaurant closes after 43 years

Published: Aug. 22, 2022 at 2:10 PM EDT
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ROANOKE, Va. (WDBJ) - Roanoke’s Red Lobster restaurant location on Franklin Boulevard closed over the weekend, apparently for good. Many residents took to social media on Sunday and Monday wondering why the restaurant had closed.

“As a former part-time Red Lobster employee, it actually means a lot,” said Jeremy Waldoch, when asked what the Red Lobster meant to him.

Waldoch, like many residents, was surprised to hear the news that Red Lobster had closed its doors.

“What has been really heartbreaking to me to hear about this closing, is the fact that many of those who were getting up, getting ready to come to work, were soon getting ready to find out there was no work to go to,” said Waldoch.

A company spokesperson told WDBJ7, “After more than 43 years of being part of the Roanoke community, we have made the incredibly difficult decision to close our restaurant at 3529 Franklin Road, SW. The lease is ending and we were unable to reach an agreement with our landlord. We understand the impact this situation has on our guests as well as our employees’ ability to work. We have provided transfer options for our team members at this location.”

Whether it was anniversaries, birthdays or celebrations, residents are going to miss walking through those doors.

“People make memories over food. They establish their favorite restaurants, those become very significant and sentimental, and when restaurants such as this that have been around for quite some time, become sentimental spots and they’re no longer there, that has an effect on the cherished memories that people have and even the traditions that they hold,” said Waldoch.

Though the restaurant is now closed, residents just hope a place to make new memories might one day take its place.

“A place like this where you’re sharing food, you’re sharing memories, you’re talking and sharing your life with people, I think those are the things people need the most for their lives,” said Waldoch.

Roanoke Red Lobster restaurant closes
Roanoke Red Lobster restaurant closes(WDBJ)

The Orlando, Florida-based chain has several hundred locations worldwide.