New Cheesesteak Factory & Jerk House location looks to continue owner’s legacy, give back to community

Roanoke Valley News

ROANOKE, Va. (WFXR) — Cheesesteak Factory & Jerk House opened its doors in southeast Roanoke several weeks ago, and management is already looking to give back to the community.

This is the third location for the popular franchise. The original Cheesesteak Factory and Jerk House opened it’s doors in Salem in 2018.

That’s where Lamarkus Robertson stepped into the business world, learning skills and techniques from the franchise’s owner Ray Savage.

“Ray was my partner,” said Robertson, “Side-by-side every morning. A lot of the things I did do, a lot of things I still do, he taught me.”

In August, Savage was killed in a motorcycle accident at the intersection of Williamson Road and Commander Drive. The fatal crash came one day after the business announced its new southeast Roanoke location.

Robertson says his sudden passing came as a big change.

“We had minds to be doing what we’re doing now, we just had to take a bit of time and reschedule, redo, and regroup. It was a process, nevertheless,” Robertson said.

Savage was known to use his business to support children and the unemployed in the Salem area by providing free meals.

With a shared passion for giving back, Robertson says he wants to continue his legacy.

“We definitely want to give back to the community the same way he did,” says Robertson.

The restaurant’s newest location was the first step. Located along Bennington Street SW, the area is considered an underserved community.

According to CrimeMapping.com, vandalism, car thefts, and assault were just some of the crimes reported in the area from Oct. 24 through Oct. 29.

One person also died after a shooting at the intersection of Garden City Boulevard SE and Riverland Road SE in August.

Despite the rise in violence, Robertson is hoping to make a change.

“We want everyone to experience and enjoy what we have to give. We’re wanting to give back and have a new relationship with the folks down here,” said Robertson.

A concept he knows Savage would be proud of.

The newest Cheesesteak Factory & Jerk House location is at 1922 Bennington Street SE. Their operating hours are 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Saturday.

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