Hometown Eats: Six and Sky Rooftop Grille

Published: Feb. 23, 2023 at 4:35 PM EST
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ROANOKE, Va. (WDBJ) - If it seems like you’re always hearing about a rooftop restaurant opening places that aren’t Roanoke, you’re not wrong. However, that will soon change, as we’re taking the elevator to the top of Center in the Square to announce Six and Sky Rooftop Grille in this week’s Hometown Eats.

“Turns out they’ve been looking for a long time to get somebody up here,” said co-owner Jo Jo Soprano.

“We thought it was a no-brainer,” joked co-owner Brian Brady.

“Beyond dream come true,” said co-owner JD Sutphin.

Roanokers have talked about it for a long time, a rooftop restaurant in the heart of downtown. This fall, the dream becomes reality with Six and Sky Rooftop Grille atop Center in the Square.

“We’re just excited. I don’t know how else to say it. We’re excited,” said Soprano.

The faces behind the restaurant are ones you’ll likely recognize from the food and entertainment scene in the Star City, Jo Jo Soprano, Brian Brady, and JD Sutphin.

“We’ve always talked about different restaurants, friend chicken, burgers and barbeque, and all these are different, but we had to think about what was something that was different in the market,” said Sutphin.

The three put their heads together to craft a menu that could rival a dockside restaurant along the coast.

“I obviously wanted the menu to be heavily weighted toward seafood. I think it’s desperately needed in Roanoke,” explained Brady.

“He is an incredible fisherman. He would always talk about how nobody was serving the stuff he was going to get, like wahoo and swordfish and all this crazy stuff, and what if we could actually make that all happen in a place in Roanoke,” said Sutphin.

“If I’ve caught a 400-pound bluefin tuna or a swordfish, I want to figure out how to get that on the menu,” said Brady.

It’s not just seafood; they plan on having plenty of high-end steaks.

“In addition, we’re going to have a real good focus on steaks and top-quality cuts of meat. Aged steaks as well that are dry and wet aged,” said Soprano.

Hydroponic gardening will also be featured at Six and Sky, an idea they hope to turn into a teaching opportunity.

“I want to go that extra mile and figure out how can we do field trips with kids going to the science museum and they can learn about sustainable fishing and how you can grow something on a rooftop in an urban space, and not only be able to utilize those things but have better health benefits as well,” said Sutphin.

With the menu in place, they just needed the space.

“Ever since they redid this entire rooftop 10 years ago, the whole idea was to rent it out for a restaurant,” explained Sutphin.

“We thought, what better place to do a rooftop restaurant than somewhere you can bring your family and enjoy the panoramic views of the mountains and Hotel Roanoke. It’s a beautiful view up here,” said Brady.

It’s a view that hits you as soon as you walk off the elevator. The bones of the restaurant are there, like the tile backsplash and steel beams the main bar will wrap around. Construction will start in July to bring the design to life with an open date set around Labor Day.

The restaurant will feature an open kitchen concept in the main dining area with booth and high top table seating on the sixth floor. On the seventh, it will be open air dining with a featured corner booth that will face downtown Roanoke in the direction of the City Market Building.

Sutphin also plans to have plenty of live entertainment beginning with a Golden Hour concert series on the space above the main entrance of the restaurant.

“Roanoke deserves to have a premier rooftop restaurant they can sit down and enjoy a meal and a beautiful view,” said Soprano.

“To know the rent check is going to a non-profit that really cares about the area. I feel like we’re opening our own Disney World,” said Sutphin.