Many people ask what happened to Sugar Beet Cafe, a Fairview spot beloved for breakfast and lunch that closed quite suddenly earlier this year for reasons that will remain a mystery for the foreseeable future. As several people who frequented the restaurant have pointed out, it wasn't for lack of business.
We do know that a Fairview couple will open a restaurant called The Local Joint in the former Sugar Beet building in mid-September, and they plan to expand upon the Sugar Beet concept while reaching out to new customers.
Chris Sizemore, one half of the husband-and-wife team opening The Local Joint, has approximately 29 years of restaurant business under his belt; Stephanie, his wife of 17 years, is also a veteran of the food business. "We've both worn a lot of hats in this business," Sizemore says.
Sizemore was a corporate chef and the director of operations for a small restaurant chain called B. Merrell's, located in Columbus, Ga. He more recently acted as the general manager of downtown Asheville’s Bistro 1896.
The couple hopes that The Local Joint will satisfy those longing for what Sugar Beet provided. "We're hungry like everyone else around here," he says, adding that the dining options in Fairview are rather limited. "When the space became available we jumped at the opportunity," he says. “We're definitely hoping to have that same following as Sugar Beet and to build on that. We want to make sure that we have a place where people feel comfortable coming in and eating," he says.
Sizemore will source as much as possible from local sources, he says. "Obviously I need to be able to afford to put it on the plate, but we do have a pretty good relationship with the farmers out here; a lot of them have kids in the same schools as our kids." He plans to use goods from nearby Hickory Nut Gap farm (a great local resource for pastured meats) as well as cheeses from Looking Glass Creamery, a dairy that he says is located a mere half-mile from his house. "It's just a stone's throw from me," he says. Sizemore adds that he wants to stay as green as possible — The Local Joint will compost, recycle and offer biodegradable to-go containers. "We live in this community and will want to support the community, because this community is what's going to be supporting us," he says.
The Local Joint will be open (at least initially) for breakfast and lunch only, 7 days a week. Sizemore says that he will phase into dinner sometime within the first six to eight months.
Breakfast items will include everything from poached-egg dishes and French toast to biscuits and gravy, as well as options easy to grab and go on the way to work or school. "We want people to be able to come in and get something quick to go that's still good," he says. Lunch will include paninis and other sandwiches, with a set-price daily sack-lunch available for eaters on the go. "We want to feature at least an item or two that will appeal to everybody."
The Local Joint will offer outdoor seating, local beer on tap and wine. Breakfast prices range from $3-$7, lunch will stay around the $7 range. It’s located at 1185-B Charlotte Highway in Fairview.