Small bites: Black Star Line Brewing Co. celebrates MLK

CULTIVATING COMMUNITY: On Monday, Jan. 15, Black Star Line Brewing Co. owner L.A. McRae will open the Hendersonville taproom early for a vegan potluck breakfast and a day filled with events honoring Martin Luther King Jr. "We really want to hold space for the types of critically conscious conversations that typically aren't happening at breweries," says McCrae. Photo by Scott Douglas

In recognition of Martin Luther King Day on Monday, Jan. 15, Black Star Line Brewing Co. will host an all-day celebration honoring the civil rights leader. The gathering will begin at 9 a.m. with a community vegan breakfast potluck. Soul food, says brewery owner L.A. McCrae, will be the focus, with the promise of dishes such as vegan cornbread, beans, sweet potatoes and collard greens.

After breakfast, participants will have the chance to partake in a series of service projects, both on-site and around the community. Along with service opportunities, the brewery will collect donations on behalf of Henderson County Public Schools and Sweet Bear Rescue Farm. “We’re intending to raise $400 for the farm to feed the animals for a week,” McCrae says. On top of this, Black Star Line will donate 15 percent of its daily sales to Henderson County Public Schools.

Throughout the day, McCrae adds, conversations will be held on the life and legacy of King. His writings, as well as transcripts of his speeches, will be available for guests to read. The lasting impact of the civil rights movement and the ongoing struggles for equality will be among other talking points. In November, Black Star Line Brewing was the target of an act of vandalism. (See “Black Star Line Brewing Co. Deals with Racist Comments, Vandalism, Death Threats,” Nov. 22, The community’s response to the attack “has been absolutely remarkable,” says McCrae. “Folks have come in and really made a stance against the bigotry.”

Evening celebrations will begin at 5 p.m. with a series of beer releases accompanied by vegan snacks. Special batches will include Dat Dere, Milkshake IPA, Botanicals (nonalcoholic) and I Have A Dreamsickle Pale Ale. Spoken word, music and a dance party will conclude the evening.

“One of the things we’re doing at the brewery is really cultivating community,” says McCrae, noting that events like the Martin Luther King Day celebration help fulfill this mission. “We really want to hold space for the types of critically conscious conversations that typically aren’t happening at breweries. To that end, we’re looking to have conversations about intersectionality, modern-day activism … [and] transforming communities.”

Black Star Line Brewing’s Martin Luther King Day celebration runs 9 a.m.-9 p.m. Monday, Jan. 15, at 131 Third Ave. W., Hendersonville. For more information, visit

Bravo Breakfasts

On Saturday, Jan. 13, Laura Beck, founder of Your Vegan Mentor, will host Let’s Eat More Plants: Bravo Breakfast at the Hendersonville Community Co-op. Participants will learn plant-based breakfast recipes, including blueberry-banana smoothies, tofu scramble and banana-walnut waffles. The event is part of Your Vegan Mentor’s mission to help people transition to “a healthier, more compassionate diet and lifestyle,” according to its Facebook page.

Bravo Breakfast will run 10:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 13, at The Hendersonville Community Co-op, 60 S. Charleston Lane, Hendersonville. Cost is $20 for members/$25 for nonmembers, payable at the Hendersonville Community Co-op front register. For more information, visit

DisAbility Partners soup and sandwich potluck

DisAbility Partners, a nonprofit that works for people with all types of disabilities, will host a motivational class on Friday, Jan. 12, followed by a potluck meal. DisAbility Partners will provide the soup, sandwich meat and pickles, and asks guests to bring sandwich rolls, lettuce, tomatoes, cheese, onions, dessert or a beverage to share. Vegetarian options will be available.

The soup and sandwich potluck runs 2-5 p.m. Friday, Jan. 12, at DisAbility Partners Asheville Office, 108 New Leicester Highway. For more information, visit

Birth Options Brunch

Brunch and “mom-osas” will be served at Birth Options Brunch, hosted by Doulas of Asheville. The boutique agency offers support to families expecting babies and adjusting to life with infants throughout Western North Carolina. According to its Eventbrite page, participants will leave with a birth discussion guide to help people think through the birthing process and available options.

Birth Options Brunch runs 11 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 13, at Nest Organics, 51 N. Lexington Ave. Tickets are $25 per person. For more information, visit

Punk Wok Pop-Up at Buxton Hall Barbecue

The Punk Wok Pop-Up returns to Buxton Hall Barbecue. The weekly event will take place throughout January in the restaurant’s upstairs Remingtin Room, featuring Indo-Asian inspired foods prepared by chef Elliot Moss with desserts by head pastry chef Ashely Capps. According to the pop-up’s Facebook page, the gatherings will include “metal-studded décor [and] tunes from Moss’ Asian + Elvis record collection.” The final event will feature special guest chef Jarret Stieber of Decatur, Ga.’s Eat Me Speak Me.

Punk Wok Pop-Up runs 6-10 p.m. each Monday in January in the Remingtin Room at Buxton Hall, 32 Banks Ave. No reservations required. Plates run $8-$18. For more information, visit

Farewell to Lucky Otter

After 15 years in business, West Asheville’s Lucky Otter restaurant closed for good on New Year’s Day. In a Facebook announcement, general manager Jonas Cole wrote: “I’m sure you will hear many incorrect reasons as to why it’s closing, but the real reason is, is that it’s just time. The man who opened Lucky Otter, Roland Knoll, passed away a year and a half ago, and his wife and staff did an amazing job in continuing to keep the restaurant open, but now it’s time for change.”

GO Kitchen Ready Showcase Dinner

Students of the Green Opportunities Kitchen Ready culinary training program will test their skills and celebrate their accomplishments with a three-course dinner on Thursday, Jan. 25. Tickets are $12 in advance or $15 the week of the event. GO Kitchen Ready is a food service job-readiness course for low-income adults who face barriers to employment. All proceeds support the program. UPDATE: Due to icy road conditions and inclement weather, the event has been rescheduled for Thursday, Jan. 25.

The dinner takes place Thursday, Jan. 25, at the Arthur R. Edington Education and Career Center, 133 Livingston St. Seatings are available at 5:30 and 7 p.m. For tickets, visit For details, contact Gwen Hill at 828-398-4158 ext. 112 or


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About Thomas Calder
Thomas Calder received his MFA in Fiction from the University of Houston's Creative Writing Program. He has worked with several publications, including Gulf Coast and the Collagist.

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