One of Asheville’s favorite cocktail joints is undergoing a minor expansion this week. Sovereign Remedies has begun construction on a patio. This may seem odd, given that the bar sits at the corner of two downtown streets, but owner Charlie Hodge and the city of Asheville have come up with an approach similar to the concept of the mini-parks that popped up on Lexington Avenue in front of Izzy’s Coffee Den in 2012.
“The way that they’ve worked this out, we are in this really perfect situation where they were able to move the loading zone up and move another parking space,” explains Hodge. “So it’s not like we’re taking over a bunch of parking spaces.”
The rezoning of the spaces will allow for a 16-seat patio for the bar, offering guests the opportunity for both drinking and dining alfresco. The official Wednesday, May 2, opening of the outdoor area will mark the bar’s transition into summer hours and lunch service. “We’re going to have two different styles of service,” Hodge says. “Monday through Friday will be more quick counter lunch service. Think boulangerie, quick baguette sandwiches made with incredibly fresh ingredients straight from the farm — classic, French-style sandwiches.”
He hints that John Fleer’s new bakery, The Rhu, might even be baking the bread. “We’re really trying to maintain our commitment to ethically raised, local ingredients, but also marry it with the reality that people have a budget for lunch,” says Hodge.
Sovereign regulars shouldn’t worry too much about changes to the menu. The core dishes will still be the cheese and charcuterie boards and house-made meatball sub. But the lunch expansion will provide an affordable, quick-service option that will pair nicely with Sovereign’s knack for perfectly crafted coffees and Herbiary batched tea service.
The abbreviated food menu will be expanded at night to include entrees and more intricate dishes and specials as well as weekend excursions into pop-up menus like the popular Sunday Indian food and Monday pizza nights.
Sovereign Remedies is at 29 N. Market St. Starting May 2, the bar and restaurant will be open with patio service 11 a.m.-2 a.m. daily.