Small bites: Deluxe opens in Woodfin

WELCOME TO THE NEIGHBORHOOD: Chef Scott Haulman, pictured, and business partner Mark Collins recently launched Deluxe, a cafe and wine bar in Woodfin. Photo by Thomas Calder

In November, Deluxe, a cafe and wine bar, quietly opened on the eastern edge of Woodfin. Located just across the street from Asheville’s city limit, the new cafe occupies the downstairs portion of a quaint, two-story, navy blue brick building at the three-way intersection where Lakeshore Drive meets Elk Mountain Road and Elkwood Avenue.

Co-owner and chef Scott Haulman says the restaurant’s soft opening was intentional. “We’re trying to get to know people in the neighborhood,” he explains. “That’s who we want in here on a regular basis. Anything else is just incidental.”

Originally from Greensboro, Haulman has made his rounds in the restaurant industry for over 30 years. Along with working as an executive chef at a number of fine dining establishments, he also owned the original Deluxe in Wilmington for 10 years before closing it in 2012.

Deluxe’s latest iteration, he says, is about a third of the size of his original operation, seating 36. Offering wine by the glass and by the bottle, the restaurant features selections from Arizona, California, Oregon, France, Italy and Spain. Pours run $8-$14.

The restaurant’s evening food menu includes selections such as assorted artisan cheeses, roasted exotic mushrooms, warm crepe manicotti and sterling silver beef tenderloins. According to Haulman, lunch and weekend brunch options will be ever changing. Plates run from $5-$14.

Along with a handful of parking spaces outside the building, additional spots are available across Elkwood Avenue, diagonal from the restaurant — meaning most visitors will park in Asheville but eat in Woodfin.

So far the neighborhood response has been positive. “We’re literally populating the seats with people we know on a first name basis who live within three blocks of here,” Haulman says. “And those are a lot of really fun people.”

Deluxe is at 126 Elkwood Ave., Woodfin. Hours are 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Sunday-Tuesday and 11 a.m. – 10 p.m. Wednesday-Saturday.

Fruit vinegars class

In an upcoming class, Stephanie Poetter of Locally Good will teach folks how to make apple cider vinegar and other fruit vinegars from scratch. “Whether drinking for health, using in a marinade or splashing on a fresh salad, you will love having your own vinegar at hand,” states a recent press release. Vinegar starters will be available for purchase during the event. Tickets are $15.

The workshop runs 5:30-7 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 12, at Locally Good, 41 Charlie Brown Road, Burnsville. To learn more, visit

Love Never Fails Christmas Gala

The third annual Love Never Fails Christmas Gala takes place Thursday, Dec. 12. The event is hosted by Western Carolina Rescue Ministries, a nondenominational ministry that serves the homeless, financially insecure and addicted populations of Western North Carolina. The event includes a three-course dinner, live entertainment and a silent auction. Menu highlights include caprese skewers with tomato, fresh mozzarella and basil pesto, mixed greens and roasted pork chop with apple cider glaze. Tickets are $50 per person or $350 for a table of eight.

The gala starts at 6 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 12, at the Crowne Plaza Resort & Expo Center, 1 Resort Drive. To purchase tickets, visit

Vegetarian potluck

Meditation in Asheville, a meditation center offering group classes, retreats and special events, will host a vegetarian potluck on Friday, Dec. 13, to celebrate the holiday season and the end of the decade. The event is family friendly.

The potluck runs 6:30-8:30 p.m. Friday, Dec. 13, at Meditation in Asheville, 1070 Tunnel Road. To learn more, visit

Biscuit & Gravy Battle returns

For a second straight year, The Social will host its Biscuit & Gravy Battle on Saturday, Dec. 14. This year’s winner takes home a $1,000 cash prize. There is a $10 entry fee, and competitors are asked to bring a full-size slow cooker of gravy. The Social will provide biscuits. Five local chefs will judge the entries, and attendees will also taste and vote for their favorite dish. Tickets are $16. A combined total score taken from the judges’ panel and the event’s popular vote will decide the overall winner.

The competition runs 10 a.m.-1 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 14, at The Social, 1078 Tunnel Road. For more information, visit

Vegan cookie swap

Your Vegan Mentor and Sunflower Diner will host a vegan cookie swap on Sunday, Dec. 15. Those interested in participating must email Laura Beck at to sign up. Beck asks that contributors include their cookie recipe in the email. There are 18 spaces available. Each baker is asked to bring six dozen vegan cookies along with a list of ingredients. Sunflower Diner will offer snacks, wine by the glass and vegan coconut eggnog for sale during the event.

The swap runs 5-7 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 15, at Sunflower Diner, 771 Haywood Road. To learn more, visit

Family meal at Ivory Road Café & Kitchen

Ivory Road Café & Kitchen welcomes the winter with a cozy four-course family meal on Wednesday, Dec. 18. Menu highlights include brie puff with candied walnut, cranberry orange chutney and house balsamic reduction; cornbread apple souffle stuffing with bacon; Brussels sprouts with brandy gravy; crispy-skin roasted duck breast; and an eggnog crème brûlée. Tickets are $45 for the meal or $65 with wine, beer or cider pairing.

The dinner begins at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 18, at Ivory Road Café & Kitchen, 1854 Brevard Road. For reservations, visit

The Lobster Club WNC returns

Michael Scharf, Asheville’s “Lobster Guy,” recently relaunched The Lobster Club WNC. Deliveries of live Maine lobsters and fresh, pasteurized lobster meat are available for pickup Fridays at the Innsbruck Mall. For details and to place an order, visit


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About Thomas Calder
Thomas Calder received his MFA in Fiction from the University of Houston's Creative Writing Program. His writing has appeared in Gulf Coast, the Miracle Monocle, Juked and elsewhere. His debut novel, The Wind Under the Door, is now available.

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