HomeGrown restaurant, a longtime North Asheville favorite, is expanding its culinary presence as it launches a new partnership with Pour Taproom in Biltmore Village this weekend. After a series of soft openings (the most recent one on Jan. 26 had a turnout of more than 100 people), a grand opening is scheduled for Friday and Saturday, Jan. 27-28, 11 a.m.-10 p.m. The kitchen will be open seven days a week, and a late-night menu is in the works.
“It’s pretty amazing what we’ve accomplished since we first brainstormed this concept in late November,” says HomeGrown owner Miki Loomis. “It just sort of happened randomly. “During our research for a catering kitchen, we connected with Nate Tomforde, Pour’s owner, and he suggested that we expand our dining services to his new locale.”
Pour is a self-service taproom that originally opened on Haywood Road in West Asheville in 2014 but left that location last fall. Tomforde agrees that a lot has happened since he and Loomis first made the decision to join forces. “We didn’t even start construction until Jan. 1,” Tomforde says. “The 300-square-foot kitchen and dining space took about three weeks to build. We had a lot of 14-hour days and sleepless nights, but now it’s a reality.”
While HomeGrown continues to follow its ethos of sourcing locally and churning out top-notch Southern comfort food, the collaboration with Pour ventures into new territory. The Biltmore Village menu reflects an awareness of pairing the food with beer, and the kitchen is incorporating beer into many of its dishes.
Diners will find brew-inspired munchies including Dry Ridge Farm bratwurst with a Hi-Wire-infused honey mustard sauce, house-baked pretzels and beer-cheese dip made with Asheville Brewing Co. Ninja Porter, and a hearty beef stew that pairs well with brown ales and other dark beers. On the soup and salad menu, a stout vinaigrette is the star of a winter salad studded with arugula, beets and blue cheese. Even the dessert menu skews to brews with stout ice cream float.
“Of course, we’re still offering our tried-and-true buttermilk fried chicken,” Loomis says. “But they’re now coming in user-friendly bite-size pieces, and we’re also doing a ‘localer’ version of shrimp and grits — we use trout instead of shrimp.”
Although this is the first expansion for HomeGrown, it may not be the last. “Everything’s on the table,” she says. “Maybe we’ll continue to grow with Pour; maybe one day we’ll be local everywhere. If this is the vehicle for growth, I’ll take it.”
Loomis says the menu at HomeGrown Kitchen is a work in progress and will evolve as feedback is received from the public.
HomeGrown Kitchen and Pour Taproom are at 2 Hendersonville Road. Hours are noon-11 p.m. Sundays, 11 a.m-11 p.m. Monday-Thursday and 11 a.m.-1 a.m. Fridays and Saturdays.