Small bites: Tupelo Honey 2.0

IN THE MIX: Tupelo Honey's downtown expansion will include an exclusive menu and a craft cocktail focus. Photo courtesy of Tupelo Honey

Come August, guests at Tupelo Honey’s downtown location will have seating choices that go beyond the restaurant’s current indoor/outdoor options.

With its recent expansion — which will double the restaurant’s seating capacity — set to wrap up at the end of July, folks will soon be asked if they prefer the eatery’s traditional or modern menu. The choice will dictate if they head left into the original venue or veer right to dine in the new 63-seat space, which was formerly Athena’s dance club.

The latest menu’s “big star,” says Kara Nemeth, director of brand communications, will be the honey-dusted fried chicken. The 24-hour brined and fried half-bird comes sprinkled with the restaurant’s signature “bee dust.” The dish will be available on both sides of Tupelo Honey, but the new dining room will offer seven variations on the base recipe.

“The chicken is the canvas,” explains Christin Prince, senior vice president of marketing. “The accouterments on top create something pretty spectaculor.”

Dubbed the “Bougie Birds,” the various riffs on the original include a wide range of toppings and sides: pimento cheese, sour cream, salsa and scallions; blue cheese crumbles, Buffalo-style hot sauce, garlic buttermilk ranch and pickles; sriracha honey sauce served with potato salad; lemon-cherry pepper aioli drizzle, scallion and radish served with house-made chips; watermelon curry sauce, fresh watermelon chunks and watercress; pickled fennel tartar sauce drizzle and lemon topped with shaved fennel salad; and caviar, shallots and buerre blanc drizzle.

The new dining room will also offer craft cocktails and a wider selection of local beers. Executive chef Adam Jones will continue to oversee both kitchens, and John Wilson will manage both bars.

Tupelo Honey’s flagship location is at 12 College St. Hours are 9 a.m.-9 p.m. Sunday-Thursday and 9 a.m.-10 p.m. Friday-Saturday. For more, visit

Slow Food Asheville Happy Hour

On Thursday, July 26, Slow Food Asheville will host its latest happy hour event at Burial Beer Co. Members of the brewery’s staff will offer insight on and take questions about the brewing process. Light appetizers will be served during the talk.

Slow Food Asheville Happy Hour runs 5:30-6:30 p.m. Thursday, July 26, at Burial Beer Co., 40 Collier Ave. There’s no cost to attend and snacks are free. For more, visit

Whole-fish butchery workshop

The Chop Shop Butchery will host a whole-fish butchery workshop on Thursday, July 26, led by chef Rob Jones and butcher PJ Jackson. According the event’s Facebook page, Jones and Jackson will instruct participants on how to process an entire fish. House-made charcuterie, beer and wine will be served during the class as well. Participants will leave with samples.

The workshop runs 6-8 p.m. Thursday, July 26, at The Chop Shop Butchery, 100 Charlotte St. Tickets are $60. To purchase, visit

An Evening of Dining Excellence

Gene Ettison, former chef instructor of the Green Opportunities Kitchen Ready program, will partner with his former student and AVLCakeLady founder Shana McDowell to present a five-course dinner at the Arthur Edington Center on Friday, July 27. Highlights from the evening’s menu include a grilled summer veggie salad with bacon vinaigrette, tomato blue cheese bisque and lemon parsley chicken with rice pilaf and grilled garlic asparagus. Desserts will include French macarons, shortbread cookies and an assortment of cakes prepared by McDowell, including red velvet, lemon velvet, double chocolate, almond, vanilla and strawberry. Biltmore Estate wines will be served as well.

An Evening of Dining Excellence runs 6-9 p.m. Friday, July 27, at Arthur Edington Center, 133 Livingston St. Tickets are $35. To learn more, visit

WNC Battle of the Burger

The grills will be fired up and the meats sizzling at the fourth annual WNC Battle of the Burger on Sunday, July 29. Taking place at Salvage Station, this year’s competing restaurant’s include: Aux Bar, Burger Stop, The Chop Shop Butchery, Disco Burger, D.O.G.S., Foothills Meats, Out of the Blue Peruvian Fusion Cuisine, Rankin Vault Cocktail Bar, Salvage Station, Sandhill Kitchen, Stackhouse and the UltraStar Multitainment Center at Harrah’s Cherokee. VIP tickets are $55 and include access to an exclusive VIP area, unlimited beer and a burger slider from each vendor. General admission is $5. General admission attendees can purchase sliders from the competing restaurants. Prices are $3-$5.

The WNC Battle of the Burger runs 2-6 p.m. Sunday, July 29, at Salvage Station, 468 Riverside Drive. For tickets, visit

YMCA Nutrition Outreach Hub grand opening

The YMCA of Western North Carolina will celebrate the grand opening of its new Nutrition Outreach Hub on Tuesday, July 31. The ribbon-cutting will feature light appetizers and refreshments, as well as comments from YMCA leadership and community volunteers. The nonprofit distributes more than 16,000 pounds of fresh produce to more than 1,200 households across five counties in WNC.

The grand opening begins at 4 p.m. Tuesday, July 31, at 30 Woodfin St. For more information, visit

Farm to Taco

Farm to Taco, a beer pairing dinner to benefit OpenDoors of Asheville, will take place Tuesday, July 31, at Wedge at Foundation. Menu details were unavailable at press time, but all ingredients will be locally sourced. OpenDoors of Asheville is a nonprofit that works to break the cycle of poverty through education. Tickets are $50 per person.

Farm to Taco starts at 6 p.m. Tuesday, July 31, at Wedge at Foundation, 5 Foundy St. For tickets, visit To learn more about OpenDoors of Asheville, visit

Foraging Dinner series continues at Nightbell

On Wednesday, Aug. 1, Nightbell continues its Foraging Dinner series with a five-course meal featuring wild edibles gathered by local professional foragers from No Taste Like Home. Tickets are $65; tax, gratuity and optional beverage pairings not included. The beverage pairing is an additional $35.

The Foraging Dinner begins at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 1, at Nightbell, 32 S. Lexington Ave. For tickets, visit To learn more about No Taste Like Home, 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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One thought on “Small bites: Tupelo Honey 2.0

  1. Brian

    Tupelo Honey is just not that good :(

    I guess there is enough tourist to warrant expansion.

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