Small Bites: Quick Bites

Avoiding the drunk tank: Beer City does right by its citizens, finally offering an affordable form of late-night transportation. Introducing the Bar Hopper. Photo via

Three restaurants have closed over the past few weeks:

The Northside Bar and Grill
has closed. The restaurant’s Facebook page has this message: “Sorry Everyone! We could not come to an agreement on a new lease. Thanks for everyone's business and great times!” Northside has been open for more than two decades.

In October, Jesse Roque and her husband, Edson, opened their third restaurant, Never Blue on Broadway, at 27 Broadway St. in downtown Asheville, taking over an apparently hard-luck venue that saw two other restaurants fold in 2011 (Tingles Cafe, Zoe Rose). Never Blue on Broadway closed in late-January. The original Never Blue in Hendersonville will remain open as Never Blue on Main. The other, Blue Gypsy Watering Hole, is open seasonally in downtown Saluda.

Ed Boudreaux’s Bayou Bar-B-Que remains closed, but, according to reports from former employees, the restaurant still offers catering. Attempts to contact owner Dustin Vanderbunt have gone unanswered. The website is still live:

The Asheville Bar Hopper will make its maiden run soon, with scheduled service along the Haywood Road corridor of West Asheville, Patton Avenue, the River Arts District and Biltmore Avenue. The new business is a joint effort of Barry Bialik, owner of the Thirsty Monk and Steve Mauer. For $5 for the full ride or $3 within a zone, either downtown or West Asheville you can ride safe — and cheaper than a cab. For more, visit — Bill Rhodes

What's going on behind all the brown paper at City Bakery's Charlotte Street location? According to a sign posted in the window, the bakery will be closed through mid-February. Workers were well into the process of gutting the interior of the bakery on Monday morning, and said that they were "taking out and replacing most of the old equipment. For more, visit — Steve Shanafelt

Sunny Point Cafe in West Asheville will host a benefit for the Mad Divas youth roller-derby team on Sunday, Feb. 19, from 5:30 to 8 p.m. The Mad Divas team is a low-contact league for girls between 12 and 17, trained by members of the Blue Ridge Roller Girls. The team is part of the Junior Roller Derby Association, a public nonprofit educational and amateur sports organization. For $10, you'll get a pancake dinner with local pork or veggie sausage, fresh fruit, coffee or tea. All proceeds will go directly to The Mad Divas. For more, visit

A team of 5 students from A-B Tech’s valued culinary program have cooked their way to Winston-Salem where they will compete for the title of 2012 ACF Southeast Region Student Team Champions. If they win, they will advance to the national finals in Florida in July. Congrats to A-B Tech and the team.

The Lexington Avenue Brewery hosts a beer dinner at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, Feb. 8. Chef Jason Roy will feature six courses paired with LAB beers. “The menu is built around our Red Whitey which has won a gold medal,” Roy wrote in an email to Xpress. Courses include raspberry point oysters with kombucha sorbet and basil pearls paired with the LAB’s white ale as well as a rabbit roulade course with country ham and cornichons, paired with the Farmhouse ale. Cost is $40, not including tax or gratuity. But get this: Anyone that brings in five paying diners gets to eat for free. To reserve a spot, call 252-0212. For more about LAB, visit

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