Boone is creating an independent restaurant group, Boone Independent Restaurants (BIR) which they say they’re modeling after Asheville’s AIR.
From the Mountain Times, based in Boone:
The newly formed organization called Boone Independent Restaurants was created by the owners of two well-known local establishments, Casa Rustica and Pepper’s, which have existed in the High Country for decades.
Rick Pedroni and John Pepper, the respective owners of those restaurants, recognized a need for unity in the local food service community.
Pedroni acknowledges that there has long been a group of civic-minded restaurants in the area, but that he and Pepper “wanted to make it more of a community thing.”
The community Pedroni refers to covers the larger High Country area, despite the geographic specificity of the organization’s name. He acknowledges that a local restaurant association is not a new idea, citing Asheville’s nearby example.
“We based this off of Asheville’s,” Pedroni said. “They’ve been instrumental in helping us.”