Macado’s, a popular regional restaurant, cut the ribbon Saturday on its new franchise near the campus of Emory & Henry College.
Standing before the new Macado’s, which is located in an historic building owned by the College, Richard Macher, president of Macado’s, thanked the Emory & Henry community, which he said has shown great support for the restaurant. “The students and employees here have been absolutely fantastic,” he said.
E&H President Rosalind Reichard called the partnership between the College and the restaurant company a “cornerstone for additional development of the Emory village.”
Reichard introduced a special guest for the grand opening, Lorena “Granny” Addison, 90. In 1946, Addison and her late husband, Ben Addison, purchased the building that now houses the new restaurant and for the next 46 years operated a store there.
Macado’s chose Emory & Henry for the site of its restaurant because of its location and because of the growing need for a restaurant in the college town, according to Macher.
Macher listed several other advantages for the new E&H location, including a large outdoor area behind Addison’s, which would provide opportunities for special events, as well as the large, supportive crowds of E&H alumni and sports fans who visit the campus frequently. He also cited strong support from the E&H administration as part of his decision to locate in Emory.
The historic Addison’s building, which was constructed in 1912, served in the past as a post office, college cafeteria and a general store. It stood empty for several years before its conversion to a restaurant in the early 1990s. Emory & Henry, which owns the building, operated it as a deli for several years, before it was closed in 2009 and the College began searching for opportunities to lease the building.
The first Macado's restaurant was opened in 1978 by Macher in downtown Roanoke. It soon became popular for its eclectic ambiance of cartoon, antique, and local nostalgic decor, as well as its wide array of hearty yet modestly-priced sandwiches, subs, and entrees.
Popular with the college crowd, the restaurant opened additional locations near Virginia Tech, Radford University, and Roanoke College. Locations were added at the rate of one or two per year, including those in neighboring West Virginia and North Carolina. Some Macado's are located in malls, such as Mercer Mall in Bluefield, Grand Pavilion in Roanoke, and Concord Mills in North Carolina (near Lowe's Motor Speedway). Other locations cater to the downtown business crowd, such as Farmville and Galax.
Still independently-owned, Macado's now operates restaurants in Central and Southwest Virginia, West Virginia, North Carolina, and locations in Bristol, Tenn., and Marion, Va.