By Debbie Adams
Dining in downtown Vinton has been kicked up another notch with the opening of Joe Goodpies at Vinyard Station. The new brick oven eatery held a soft opening for invited guests on February 1, and opened to the public on Thursday, Feb. 4.
Developer Dale Wilkinson, General Contractor Greg Rhodes, and Aaron Miller, area director for owner Line Management Inc. of Salem, were on hand to welcome guests and show them around. Mike Jones is the general manager.
In addition to a dining area with tables and booths, there is a bar with stools and raised tables, and a small private dining room featuring Vinton Motors memorabilia, with the Vinton Motors logo painted by local artist Tonya Weaver Kirk. Vinyard Station was the home of Vinton Motors for almost eight decades. The Vinton Motors Room pays tribute to the family.
In 1931, during the height of the Great Depression, Bill Vinyard left his family farm to build his own business: Vinton Motors Company. Originally on the northwest corner of Pollard Street and Washington Avenue, Vinton Motors became a cornerstone of the Vinton community. Fourteen years later, Vinyard moved his dealership across the street to its now iconic location.
In 1979, Billy Vinyard Jr. took over his family’s business. Vinton Motors continued its success, selling up to 300 cars per year and earning Ford’s prestigious Blue Oval Status.
In 2008, during the height of the automotive industry crisis, Vinton Motors Company had to shut its doors and the building stood vacant for several years.
The Town of Vinton collaborated with the Vinyard family and the Wilkinson Group to bring new life into the classic structure with the Vinyard Station project. Unfortunately, Billy Vinyard passed away in September 2019 before renovations began.
The entire structure has been lovingly restored with great attention to detail by the developer and contractors. The original ceiling has been preserved.
The restaurant seats 45 under COVID restrictions – 90 once those restrictions are lifted.
Joe Goodpies has plans for 45 full- and part-time employees. The wait staff on opening night was eager to serve and solicitous.
Actually, “Goodpies” might be a tad modest. According to diners at the soft opening, “Greatpies” might be more accurate. These are pizza pies we are talking about, although key lime pie is on the menu.
According to owner Jack Winston, who also owns Jersey Lily’s Roadhouse Grill on Orange Avenue and Jersey Lily’s in Salem, Joe Goodpies features a brick pizza oven weighing 10,000 pounds, visible from the dining area.
The menu features 18 varieties of pizza, with freshly made dough and sauce – or you can “build your own.” Pizzas on the menu range from pepperoni to Hawaiian to Margherita to Sriracha Shrimp.
Chicken wings, boneless and bone-in, come with a choice of several sauces including Mango Habanero and Dark Rum.
Burgers are another specialty, from the basic All-American Cheeseburger to The Sunday Cure (with fried egg, ground beef, applewood bacon, cheese, tomato, and Bloody Mary ketchup) to Maui Wowie.
There is an array of specialty salads, appetizer choices, hand-cut fries, and homemade potato chips.
There’s a long list of “Sandwiches Over Vinton” – heroes, subs, and clubs. There are kids meals, weekday lunch, and weekend specials, along with Pizza Monday, Chicken Wing Tuesday, and Burger Wednesday deals.
The restaurant offers beer (bottled and on tap), wine, and mixed drinks.
The Vinyard Station project got underway in November 2019 and has kept passing motorists fascinated with its steady progress ever since, despite the pandemic.
The Vinton Area Chamber of Commerce will be hosting a formal ribbon-cutting for Joe Goodpies in the coming weeks.
According to Vinton Town Manager Pete Peters, the Town of Vinton will host a separate ribbon-cutting for the entire Vinyard Station Complex, once completed, later in the spring, inviting members of Town Council, the Roanoke County Board of Supervisors, the Roanoke County and Town of Vinton administrations, and the developers to celebrate the project and recognize all those who have made contributions to a successful completion of the project.
There will be speeches by council and board members, tours of the property, and recognition of partners and businesses who participated in making the project a reality.
Call 655-4799 or email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.