Mayfel's: Costuming for cheap food has been a theme of the recent recession — thousands of people showed up at their local Chick-fil-A's dressed like cows earlier this year to claim free sandwiches. But Mayfel's been promoting the concept since 2004, when the downtown eatery rolled out its first-ever Pajama Party Brunch. Anyone who wears their PJ's to the New Year's Day festivities is eligible for discounted food. The event runs from 9 a.m.-3 p.m. "We'll be celebrating all day with fantastic brunch specials, mimosas and our famous Bloody Mary Bar," office manager Suzie Corr writes. To learn more, call 252-8840.
Hickory Tavern: Hickory Tavern Grill and Raw Bar this month became the newest restaurant in the rapidly expanding Biltmore Town Square. The Asheville outlet at 30 Town Square Boulevard is the seventh location for the restaurant, which specializes in quality pub grub: Its menu includes crab cakes, burgers, potato chips and chili. Call 684-0975 for more information.
Amie's Deelishus Gluten-Free Goodies: An Asheville baker is using an old-fashioned strategy to enter a niche market that's still considered novel.
"I'm handing out fliers with my phone number," says Amie Tanner, who recently debuted a new line of gluten-free treats. "I'm not savvy in the ways of Web design."
Tanner is considering adding an Internet presence to her business plan but has no intention of ever putting any flour in her chocolate-chip cookies, cranberry-orange nut bread or apple muffins.
Tanner says her "greatest joy" is sharing her products with people who tell her "I haven't had a cookie in five years."
"My husband is gluten-intolerant, and he also has a bit of a sweet tooth," explains Tanner. "Sweets were something he grudgingly had to give up."
Tanner, a refugee from the hard-hit world of real estate finance, saw an entrepreneurial opportunity in the recipes she started preparing for her dessert-starved husband. Her products are now available only by special order, but she's hoping to eventually place them in local cafes and groceries.
"I like to think they're quite good, even as regular cookies," she adds.
To find out more, call 505-7223.
Grove Corner Market: Now that Grove Corner Market has relocated to West Asheville, the independent grocery is ready to shed its geographically linked name — and asking its new neighbors to suggest a suitable replacement. "Giving folks a chance to name their market is really exciting and a great way for us to start the New Year," owner Rosanne Kiely writes in a release.
Customers are encouraged to enter as many names as they like. Staff favorites will be posted around the store and shared via Facebook and Twitter (for now, the account's still @grovecorner.)
The market's offering an attractive prize package to whoever comes up with the winning name: a $100 gift certificate and the chance to see one's idea enshrined in the store's new logo, signage and website.
"I can't wait to see what people come up with," Kiely adds. "It should be a blast."
The contest is open through Dec. 29. For more information, call 225-4949, check out the store's Web site at thegrovecornermarket.com, or visit the store at 771 Haywood Road.