High point: Top of the Monk will develop spirit-forward cocktails on the third floor of Thirsty Monk downtown.

The twist on top

In 1905, at a certain bar in Albuquerque, every drink was served with a fried oyster, according to Chall Gray's research. While Top of the Monk, the bar Gray helped open last week, won't serve fried oysters, it will offer what Gray calls "companion bites," snacks that accompany every drink by default. Think a prosciutto-wrapped, […]

The gamut: Sake education is Blue Kudzu's raison d’être. The owners, from left: Preston Coleman, Cat Ford-Coates, Mary Taylor and Mitch Fortune.

Rice, reinvented

Like the fermented beverage it serves, Blue Kudzu Sake has developed over time. The plan for the nation's fourth independent sake brewery (as the owners slate it) began in 2011. Two years later, the sake finally is flowing in the River Arts District. Blue Kudzu will begin as a bar and restaurant, and as the […]

It’s a wrap: The Woodfin spot will feature a large, open kitchen where the staff will prep the ingredients for all four stores. Pictured: Shannon Livengood and Zak Yancey.

Viva Woodfin

Zak Yancey, owner of Neo Burrito, admits he's interested in showing off — but in a good way. He's planning a new Neo Burrito at the Reynolds Village development in Woodfin, and it promises to be a little more exhibitionistic than his other two restaurants in West Asheville and Biltmore Park. The Woodfin spot will […]

Tiger beat

Brace yourself for the confusion that’s about to ensue. Soon, Asheville will be home to Tiger Mountain, the downtown bar frequented by the hipster set, and Tiger Bay Café, the restaurant taking shape behind BattleCat Coffee bar in West Asheville. Here are two crucial differences: Tiger Mountain refers to a Brian Eno album; Tiger Bay […]

Hyphen is coming

Hyphen, the new everything business coming to Patton Avenue, could just as appropriately be called “slash.” The longtime Creatures Café spot will become a coffee roaster/yoga studio/tattoo parlor/art gallery/music classroom. Why so many operations in one building? The concept is about more than keeping rent costs low, co-owner Kimi Leger explains. The goal is to […]

Relation chips: “With us having the five boys, I thought we could have two meanings to the brand,” says Adrienne Henzel, who co-owns 5th Sun with her husband, Michael.

Maple and spice: How 5th Sun Specialtie­s brings chips, salsa and hot sauce to WNC and Vermont

A few months ago, bright yellow bags of corn chips began appearing all over Asheville. Almost simultaneously, they were on display in Earthfare, Greenlife, French Broad Food Co-op and West Village Market. The 5th Sun Specialties chips are just the beginning. They're accompanied by a line of salsas and hot sauces. The products have intriguing […]

Dishcrawl

Smorgasbor­d

Dishcrawl launches in Asheville Can’t decide where to eat dinner? Don’t. Dishcrawl, a food tourism service, will choose for you. The San Jose-based company launched an Asheville branch last month. The tour takes groups to four restaurants, three of which are kept secret until they arrive. Each restaurant serves three tasting dishes. (Vegetarian options are […]