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Roanoke, Texas

January 8, 2012

We’ve been at the Northlake Village RV Park, about four miles outside of Roanoke, for over a month.  The only times we’ve been into Roanoke were the two trips to get the propane tank filled.

We left Saturday morning to run errands, and started in Denton with lunch at Cracker Barrel (fried catfish).  We spent considerable time at Camping World, and walked out with a couple of armloads of stuff… kitchen and cabinet organizing items, another outside water hose, replacement light bulbs… you know… stuff.  And a membership with Passport America, which is supposed to get us a 50% discount at many campgrounds throughout the U.S.

N. Oak Street, Downtown Roanoke

On the way back, Nell mentioned that we’d never actually been to Roanoke itself.  So we decided to explore a bit.  What we found was a refurbished, spruced up downtown area with a lot of interesting looking eateries and shops.

The Plaid Peacock

We found a place called The Plaid Peacock inside one of the old existing buildings that had been updated inside and out.  The inside had been transformed into a mini shopping mall, with rows of small 5×10 spaces filled with individual “shops”, sort of an upscale arts and crafts mall.  It was nice enough that I inquired about several small wall spaces, with the idea of hanging some of the larger paintings for sale while we’re here.  But, unfortunately, the spaces require a six month lease, and we’re not going to be here that long.  It’s a shame, because if the rent was low enough, it could serve as true “public storage” for those framed paintings that are too large for the motothome storage spaces.

The Book Carriage and Coffee Shop

We went into a couple of antique stores, partly out of curiosity and partly because we’re looking for something specific for inside the motorhome.  And then we spotted The Book Carriage and Coffee Shop.  It was a cool, damp day, so we decided to check the place out and get a cup of coffee.  What a neat place.  Upon stepping inside, one is immediately struck by the balcony railing at the second level, which extends out over about a third of the store.  Bookcases, all at shoulder level, fill the lower space, with specialty historical books about Texas and the Dallas/Ft. Worth area at the front.

On the right, the front corner of the place is taken up by a small bar, very similar to a Starbucks arrangement, complete with barrista and a menu of showing a variety of coffees and soft drinks.  In the center of the first floor are several tables with chairs.  The upstairs space had a row of tables along the railing, and a big, super-soft sofa against the back wall.  What made this space really special was the display along the entire back wall: a collection of photographs taken by a local 5th Grade digital photography class.  The creativity and quality of the work was wonderful.  There is additional balcony space above the coffee bar complete with microphones.  The owner told us they have live music by local musicians from time to time.  By the time we had browsed a bit, the barrista brought us our coffee, and we headed back out to explore a bit more.


It was mid-afternoon on a Saturday, so the crowd had thinned out along the street.  Babe’s Chicken Dinner House still had a few people waiting for a place inside.  Babe’s has restaurants all over the DFW area.

Downtown Roanoke has an abundance of restaurants, some up and running, and some still being built.  There are at least two Mexican food places, a German restaurant, and a huge barbeque place still under construction, all within a few blocks right on North and South Oak.  There are also several large parking lots just off the street, and I suspect that this entire street starts getting busy around dinner time.  We promised ourselves we’d come back some evening to check out the atmosphere.

And there was this grouping of eateries along Front Street, aka US 377, one block over.  It includes One Fish Two Fish, and Asian restaurant, adjoining Prairie House, a chicken and barbeque place that advertises “Texas frontier food”, including jalapeno cornbread.  So, when it comes to food, there appears to be plenty of it, and something for everyone in Roanoke.

At the end of South Oak, there is an area that hasn’t been redeveloped yet, and includes this old house and plowed plot of land.  I took a few photos of some other old places, which may be good references for some sketches or paintings.

So… in a way, this was a Back Roads & Brushes kind of day.  We left Hemi comfortably ensconced on his pillow on the co-pilot’s chair, made a trip to pick up some supplies, then explored new territory, met some locals, and came home with a few reference photos.

Not a bad day at all.

One Comment leave one →
  1. Yorky permalink
    January 8, 2012 4:15 pm

    What a find! I love seeing small town America.


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