MobileBusiness-17

Driving sales: Mobile businesses roll into WNC

by Alli Marshall, Rich Rennicks and Gina Smith —

Food trucks are a known entity: Those mobile dispensaries of cheap, tasty meals drove into downtown Asheville (and our hearts) in 2011. And with revised city ordinances, a dedicated lot on Coxe Avenue and regular appearances at local festivals and music venues, food trucks have only increased in number. But sandwiches aren’t the only thing that can fit into a truck.

THE WILD SIDE:Carolina West RibFest organizers say the revamped festival will offer a more eclectic blend of entertainment than past events , including sideshow acts and cancan girls. Photo courtesy of AKA Entertainment & Media

Small bites: RibFest gets a makeover

As in summers past, WNC residents can expect a barbecue rib festival to happen this month at the WNC Agricultural Center. But this year there’s a new RibFest in town. What has been called since 2007 the Carolina Mountain RibFest will now be known as Carolina West RibFest and will sport an edgy new look aimed at appealing to a broader, more alternative audience.

CUTTING TO THE CHASE: Joe Ervin of Neanderhogs Up in Smoke BBQ of Greer, S.C., prepares for battle in the 2014 Blue Ridge BBQ Festival competition. Photo by Cindy Kunst

No holds barred: Blue Ridge BBQ Festival sees both fierce and friendly competition

By the time we come down from the clouds that cling to the mountains, and pull into Tryon, the rain is hot on our heels on a Friday afternoon. Not good news for the 73 competition barbecue cookers that have come from as far away as Texas and Missouri to try their hand at yet another trophy, this time at the recent Blue Ridge BBQ & Music Festival.

RANCH-STYLE: Oskar Blues will refurbish many of the original buildings on the property of its REEB Ranch in Hendersonville for use as guest lodgings. Photo courtesy of Oskar Blues

Beer scout: Oskar Blues launches its first off-site project in WNC

In Colorado, Oskar Blues has plenty of side-projects. There’s CHUBurger, which is their take on a fast-casual burger joint. There’s Cyclhops, a bike cantina, where they combine a taco and tequila restaurant with REEB Cycles, their own brand of bikes. There’s the Bonewagon, a smokehouse on wheels. And they even have a farm, dubbed Hops & Heifers, where they grow hops and raise cows on spent brewing grain for their restaurants.

MOUNTAIN FLAVOR: Lex 18 chef Edwin Bloodworth draws on experiences from his mountain upbringing for inspiration. Photo by Tim Robison

Wild roots: New chef at Lex 18 spotlights the bounty of Appalachia

After being open for less than two months, Lex 18 closed in early June only to reemerge on June 14 flaunting some significant changes. Although the restaurant’s interior maintains the same rich, vintage Jazz Age décor, and the bar still highlights the upscale moonshine and classic cocktails touted at its first opening in March, a shift of ownership has resulted in an eatery with a completely reinvented culinary direction.