Roanoke City Market Building reopens

Published: Jun. 15, 2020 at 6:46 PM EDT
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For the first time in three months, the grill at Aly Baba is hot.

"Red peppers, yellow peppers, tomatoes, and we top it off with our delicious ground beef," said the owner of Aly Baba, preparing another dish for an excited customer.

There's a wait to order food at Aly Baba around lunch time, which is the only restaurant without an outdoor entrance in the market building that has reopened.

"We actually wanted to wait until we had several restaurants that were interested in opening. Tacos Rojas, Caribbica Soul have been open throughout really, but as soon as we had Aly Baba, an interior tenant want to open, we had to open for them," said Elliot Broyles, the executive director of the city market building.

Social distancing is being enforced inside the building, masks are encouraged and you'll see cleaning in action.

But you'll also see some satisfied guests.

"I haven't been in a while, so I came today to get me some Caribbean shrimp," said a Caribbica Soul patron.

Right now dine in is only from 11 a.m. - 3 p.m. but the abbreviated hours won't last forever.

"Just because we don't feel like traffic downtown doesn't yet support staying open till 7 or 9 o'clock, our normal closing time at the market building, but we wanted to give the first week a try, see what 11-3, our normal lunch rush, would support for these local businesses," said Broyles.

The closed signs on the restaurants that are waiting a few more days won't remain forever either. According to Broyles, all restaurants, other than Wall Street Tavern, will reopen.

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