Italian Bistro celebrated its 20-year anniversary in Roanoke on May 1.

To recognize the restaurant, which is located at 501 East Byron Nelson Blvd., as being part of the business community for over two decades, Mayor Carl E. “Scooter” Gierisch Jr. issued a proclamation during the May 9 council meeting to owner Sammy Lajqi making May 1, 2023, Italian Bistro Day in Roanoke.

The mayor said the secret to Lajqi's success is the ability to cook 365 dishes—one for every day of the year—with just his own ideas.

On Friday and Saturday nights, Lajqi said that the restaurant has live entertainment. According to the proclamation, Randy Teal, the “Neil Diamond” of guitar music, has provided live music for more than 18 years. Jacky Seal, a “Young Frank Sinatra," has also been singing at the restaurant for the past four years.

“Sammy, his family and Italian Bistro are integral to Roanoke’s Unique Dining Capital moniker. Visiting the Italian Bistro feels like visiting Roanoke family. We are proud to celebrate 20 years with the Italian Bistro and look forward to 20 more years of great unique food cooked by the wonderful Lajqi family,” City Manager Cody Petree said.