What’s new in food: Islands meet highlands at The Tiki Easy Bar

SPEAKY-TIKI: Hi-Wire Brewing has opened The Tiki Easy Bar, a tropical-themed speakeasy in the back of its original South Slope taproom. Photo courtesy of The Tiki Easy Bar

The Tiki Easy Bar, a new tropical-themed speakeasy owned and operated by Hi-Wire Brewing, has set sail on the South Slope.

Located in the back of Hi-Wire’s original brewery and taproom at 197 Hilliard Ave., The Tiki Easy Bar provides an escape for thirsty tourists and locals alike with a menu of classic and contemporary tiki cocktails made with fresh juices, craft syrups and premium spirits.

According to marketing and public relations specialist Shanda Williams, an unexpected opportunity last summer prompted the expansion. Hi-Wire’s landlord retired, offering a chance to purchase not only the building that housed the brewery but also the 2,500-square-foot workshop space where he’d made metal art in the back for 50 years.

“When given the chance to own where we started Hi-Wire 10 years ago, it was a no-brainer to make it happen and cement our roots where it all began,” says Chris Frosaker, co-owner of Hi-Wire Brewing and the driving force behind this new concept.

“I have become obsessed with tiki bars and drinks since the pandemic began,” continues Frosaker. “Our world seems to be getting crazier every day, and I love the escapism a tiki bar provides, where you can enter a new world and forget about your day-to-day life with a strong drink in hand.”

The Tiki Easy Bar boasts an expansive drink menu offering over 50 tropical cocktails, frozen/boat drinks, shareable bowls, mocktails, beer, wine and cider. Several items, including Tiki Easy rum, merchandise and handmade ceramic tiki mugs from local artists Jason Rojas and Allison Cochran, are also for sale.

While The Tiki Easy Bar is an extension of Hi-Wire Brewing’s business, the decor and feel are completely distinct from any of the company’s many taprooms. Neon lights and palm fronds decorate the bar’s entrance, tropical animal calls pipe through speakers and simulated thunderstorms strike twice an hour.

The inspiration behind these experiential elements, says Williams, is one of the company’s core values of “creating fun, which The Tiki Easy Bar will certainly not be short on.”

Visit avl.mx/cus for hours of operation and additional information.

Raise funds, sip wine

The Ladies Aid Society of Flat Rock will hold a wine tasting and silent auction fundraiser at Saint Paul Mountain Vineyards on Tuesday, July 25, 5-7 p.m.

This nonprofit organization was founded in 1880 by 13 ladies who summered in Flat Rock to escape the heat of their homes in the Carolina Lowcountry. The society’s original mission was to provide help to less fortunate families during the harsh winter months. Today, the organization continues to raise money for local charities and agencies, such as the Flat Rock Backpack Program, Hendersonville Rescue Mission, St. Gerard House, the Children and Family Resource Center’s Adolescent Parenting Program and more.

Six different Saint Paul wines and light hors d’oeuvres, including skewers, finger sandwiches, sweet treats and more, will be provided during the event to accompany the silent auction. Proceeds from ticket sales ($50 per person) will be disbursed to local charities supported by the society.

Saint Paul Mountain Vineyards is at 588 Chestnut Gap Road, Hendersonville. Visit avl.mx/cuq for tickets and additional information.

A new kind of buzz

Hope Coalition, a community collaborative working to build healthy, strong connections through substance use prevention, education and recovery, has opened The Buzz, Western North Carolina’s first sober bar and café.

“We designed The Buzz to be a social gathering hive where people can come together and enjoy nonalcoholic beverages and local snacks in a … friendly environment,” says Suzanne English, community outreach and development coordinator at Hope Coalition. “We are not advocating for the next Prohibition — we just want our community to have alternative options if they need them.”

The Buzz offers various drip coffees, espresso drinks and specialty lattes each morning, crafted from beans exclusively roasted by ShareWell Coffee Co., a Flat Rock roaster. As the evening approaches, usually around 4 p.m., the menu shifts to seasonal mocktails using NA liquors, NA beer from Athletic Brewing Co. and Clausthaler, and NA wines accompanied by salads, baked goods from Mini Batch Bakery, snacking plates and a rotating food truck calendar.

Since Hope Coalition operates as a nonprofit, every purchase made at The Buzz directly funds programs such as Hope Rising, which supports local at-risk youths.

“We teach harm reduction through education and advocacy … and provide many resources, from youth programs to our peer-support living room at the Recovery Community Center,” says English. “The Buzz is another program that will hopefully extend a hand to the nondrinkers, sober curious, athletes, teens and more in WNC.”

The Buzz Sober Social Bar and Café is at 225 S. Grove St., Hendersonville. Visit avl.mx/cur for hours and information.

Apple partnership bears fruit

Five years ago, Asheville’s Noble Cider and Lewis Creek Farm in Henderson County partnered to plant an orchard of traditional French apple trees. Now the fruits of their labor have led to a double-award-winning cider.

Lewis Creek’s Trey Enloe, a fifth-generation farmer now running his family’s farm, says, “The initial grafting and propagating of these apple varieties took two years in the nursery, and then after being transplanted to the orchard, it was another three years before they started to bear fruit. It took a lot of experimentation.”

The end result of that experimentation is the Lewis Creek Orchard Reserve French Cidre, which just won the top platinum award in the Heritage Dry category at the sixth annual Cidercraft Awards. The cider also beat over 1,500 competitors to win Best in Show at the Great Lakes International Cider and Perry Competition, the world’s largest hard cider competition.

“More commercial modern ciders are often made from regular dessert apples, and so much of the taste comes from added ingredients,” explains Noble Cider founder and head cider maker Lief Stevens. “With a cider like this one, all the flavor comes from just the apples themselves. It’s more like growing fruit for a fine wine, really. This cider pays homage to a long history of French cider making.”

Noble Cider is at 356 New Leicester Highway. Visit avl.mx/cue for additional information.

Grove Park gingerbread contest registration opens

The Omni Grove Park Inn has opened registration for the 31st National Gingerbread House Competition.

Hosted by the resort annually, the competition is the largest of its kind in the nation and has grown significantly over the years. Registration is open through Monday, Nov. 13, for bakers of all ages and skill levels to compete for more than $40,000 in cash and prizes distributed across four age categories: adult, teen, youth and child. The competition will be held Monday, Nov. 20, and the confectionery creations will be on display at the resort from Monday, Nov. 27-Tuesday, Jan. 2.

“Gingerbread is a truly magical time here at The Omni Grove Park Inn,” says Isabel Miller, senior marketing and events manager, in a news release. “From the competitors who have been competing for years to those participating for the first time to each visitor who comes from far and wide to experience the gingerbread cheer, the competition has become an iconic holiday tradition for all.”

The Omni Grove Park Inn is at 290 Macon Ave. Visit avl.mx/a8y for registration and additional information.

Sudden exit for Elliot Moss

Two-time James Beard Foundation Award nominee chef Elliot Moss is no longer serving as the executive chef at Regina’s and Little Louie’s. Both restaurants were opened by Moss and several business partners earlier this year.

“For all my friends out there checking in on me or reaching out, I just wanted to let everyone know that I’m doing good,” says Moss via social media in a public acknowledgment of the swirling rumors. “There is some heavy stuff going on, and I wish I was able to elaborate, but I cannot at this time.”

While Moss remains a partner in both businesses for the time being, he is no longer in charge of culinary operations. It has been reported by several local news outlets that a dispute between Moss and the other business partners led to the split.

Regina’s is at 1400 Patton Ave.; Little Louie’s is at 1478 Patton Ave. This is a developing story. Follow Moss at avl.mx/bsu for updates.

End of Eurisko

Eurisko Beer Co. owner and brewer Zac Harris has laid off his entire staff and announced plans to sell the brewery and his beer recipes.

“I have come to the ultimate conclusion that Eurisko will not be able to continue operating into the years to come and have started taking steps to find someone to take over our space,” says Harris on the brewery’s social media pages. “With that being said, I do anticipate being open through the summer and potentially into the fall in a somewhat limited capacity. My girlfriend, Jill, and I plan on running the operation.”

Previously open daily, the brewery’s taproom will now be open only from Thursday to Sunday. Harris will continue to supply Eurisko beer to the taproom, as well as to restaurants and bars, until supplies run dry.

Eurisko Beer Co. is at 255 Short Coxe Ave.


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