Philip Montano always dreamed of owning his own delicatessen. In 1969, he opened Chef’s International Gourmet in the Roanoke Valley. His place was the first gourmet specialty shop in the area and it was a tough sell. Montano won customers with quality specialty ingredients on his shelves, a bright smile and a warm nature.
In 1988, the permanent location for Montano’s opened at Townside Festival Mall with 150 seats and a small but well stocked gourmet shop, complete with delicatessen, wine selection and imported beer area.
The restaurant now seats 252 and includes a private banquet room, an outdoor cafe and a 40 foot carved wood and mirrored cocktail bar. Phil Montano still regularly works in the business, which is now run by his son, Marty Montano.