Local

New restaurant feels like home

The Roof Line owner Brenda Roof, left, and assistant manager April Sloan stand in the new restaurant's dining room Wednesday. Below, a section of the dining room at the Rock Hill restaurant Wednesday.
The Roof Line owner Brenda Roof, left, and assistant manager April Sloan stand in the new restaurant's dining room Wednesday. Below, a section of the dining room at the Rock Hill restaurant Wednesday.

The new Roof Line restaurant on Saluda Street is easy to miss as you're passing by.

In the middle of an old strip mall near the S.C. 901 intersection, the place sits back from the road and doesn't have a big sign out front.

That's why customers are so surprised when they find out what's there.

"When they drive up, they'll say, 'Is this the right place?'" owner Brenda Roof said. "I tell people, 'Don't judge the book by its cover.'"

Roof serves familiar Southern dishes ranging from country-style steak to baked chicken, along with favorites such as fried squash and deviled eggs. The more unusual twist is the decor.

With help from her co-workers, Roof fashioned her dining room to look like the inside of a house, with sections decorated as a bedroom, living room, patio and other rooms. One table is even dressed up as a bed.

"Somebody said Southern Living needs to come up here and take a picture of this," said Roof, whose brother, Eddie, owns the car lot next door. "A lot of people want to take a tour of the place and look at everything before they order."

Roof, 57, figured it was time to expand the catering business she has run from her home in the Mount Holly community since 1992. Her other brother, a commercial investor in Atlanta, bought the strip mall four years ago, and the family hopes to eventually repave the parking lot and put on a new facade.

The Roof Line is open for lunch Tuesdays through Fridays and brunch on Sundays.

"Years ago, Saluda Street had one of the nicest restaurants. It was called Bill Paul's Starlight Lounge," recalled real estate broker Reid Smith. "Brenda's was a big jump, but I think more of it's going to happen. A lot of rooftops have come out this way in the last five or six years."

Roof wants to attract business from the fast-growing areas around nearby South Pointe High School, where scores of new homes are being built. Developer Tony Berry is planning Stonegate, a mixed-use shopping center, just across the street. It will include homes and stores.

"We didn't do anything for a couple of years, but now we see the growth coming," Roof said.

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