Small Bites: Juicy burger news

Juicy: Chris Barlas, one of the owners of Juicy Lucy’s Burger Bar and Grill with the eatery’s mascot. Photo by Max Cooper

Juicy Lucy's Burger Bar and Grill will open this summer in the former Provence 620 restaurant at 620 Hendersonville Road. The local, independent group opening the restaurant also owns Cornerstone Restaurant on Tunnel Road and Stone Ridge Tavern on Brevard Road (and owned Province 620 before giving the restaurant a major overhaul).

The 200-seat eatery will be updated with a 20-tap bar featuring many local brews. The restaurant will be "affordable, easy and not pretentious," says Chris Barlas, one of the owners, along with his two brothers, all born and raised locally.

The restaurant's namesake is a type of burger stuffed with cheese that originated in Minnesota in the early '50s. "The whole concept's been fun to work with," says Barlas. Juicy Lucy's menu will feature "modern, updated classics," with 10-12 specialty burgers made with hormone-free beef, veggie patties, grilled chicken or pulled pork, all on house-baked breads. "And we'll be featuring one big, bad-ass, Juicy Lucy burger of the month," Barlas says. The Man Vs. Food-worthy Loco Lucy burger, for example, comes stuffed with pimento cheese and topped with roasted jalapeños, bacon and a spicy mayo. The Red, White and Blue is topped with slaw, blue cheese, pulled pork and bacon. "We'll also be featuring some great dinner items as well," Barlas says. "It's not just a sandwich shop." Barlas says the restaurant will ocassionally offer Hickory Nut Gap meats, raised in Fairview.

And, two words: "shake menu." That includes concoctions like sea salt-caramel, blueberry-graham cracker, Guinness stout and liquor shakes.

"All of this food is fun," says Barlas. "That's our food philosophy: Keep it fun."

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