What’s new in food: Mother expands to South Slope

MOTHER RISES AGAIN: Mother owners Heidi Bass and Brett Watson have expanded to the South Slope with the bread and wine shop's second location. Photo courtesy Angela Wilhelm

Mother, after establishing its first bread and wine retail shop in February 2022, has just opened its second location: a community market and café concept on the South Slope at 244 Short Coxe Ave.

Over 17 times larger than the original 200-square-foot shop at 20 Artful Way in the River Arts District, Mother’s new South Slope location will allow owners Heidi Bass and Brett Watson to provide even more of the sourdough bread and wine offerings early Mother adopters have come to love and expect, as well as a broader café menu featuring sandwiches, toasts, larger plated meals and sweets.

“The South Slope café has a brand-new kitchen that allows us to bake more bread in both volume and variety,” says Bass. “We’ve installed new high-capacity deck ovens, which are steam-injected and meant specifically for bread baking. Along with chef Aleksander Kubicki, we’ve developed a casual menu to highlight our sourdough bread offerings, and there will be a larger variety of retail wines to take home or open on-site and enjoy.”

Mother’s new European-inspired café space is designed as an open layout with communal tables that encourage conversation and connection. “The space itself is very romantic and open,” says Bass. “We hope to host community events, tastings and workshops in the near future. We’re open to using the space in whatever way it naturally leans.”

Bread and wine lovers in the River Arts District need not worry: Mother’s South Slope location is an expansion, not a replacement of the original location.

“We really wanted to create a space for people to gather, see people they know and maybe meet people they didn’t know before,” explains Bass. “If that can happen in the name of sourdough bread and wine, we would be greatly honored.”

Visit avl.mx/atg for additional information.

Beat the heat with Brews and Bears

Brews and Bears, the WNC Nature Center’s annual after-hours event series, returns for the summer months every second Friday from 5:30-8 p.m.

Each summer since 2016, Bears & Brews has allowed nature lovers to visit the wildlife park in the cooler evening hours, view the exhibits with a drink in hand and support the WNC Nature Center’s mission of education and conservation. One hundred percent of proceeds from Brews & Bears ($15 per person for members, $20 for nonmembers) funds Friends of the WNC Nature Center, the nonprofit organization supporting the wildlife park in providing veterinary care, food and enrichment, new exhibits and more.

“If you’re working Monday to Friday, 9 to 5, and you don’t get a chance to come here on your weekend, you don’t get to experience us,” says Kate Frost, development and marketing director for Friends of the WNC Nature Center, regarding why Brews and Bears is an important, fun event for locals and tourists alike. “Guests can safely watch a black bear up close, learn from BearWise about how to live around bears and see our animals who are more active in the evening without the summer heat.”

The education programs and conservation initiatives of the WNC Nature Center will also be highlighted with the arrival of several new red wolf pups. “People have the chance to see a critically endangered species try to make a comeback and learn how they can help it happen,” says Frost.

The WNC Nature Center is at 75 Gashes Creek Road. To purchase tickets and learn more, visit avl.mx/9iq.

Tall John’s sets up for summer

Tall John’s Neighborhood Tavern has opened a new, 36-seat outdoor dining patio and weekend brunch menu.

The new patio is open for both brunch and dinner service, offering sunny and shady seating options. With the addition of the 36 outdoor seats, Tall John’s General Manager Jasper Adams says he hopes to avoid long lines and wait times.

“Waiting in line to eat weekend brunch is a bummer,” says Adams in a news release. “There are some incredible daytime spots in Asheville, but it’s common to wait 30 minutes or more, even at some of our favorite counter-service places. We anticipate minimal wait times and a relaxed atmosphere.”

Highlights from the new brunch menu include a brunch burger, eggs Florentine, buttermilk pancakes, brûléed grapefruit, a Pimm’s Cup cocktail and more. A variety of small plates, traditional brunch entrees, a la carte sides, cocktails and espresso drinks round out the new offerings.

Tall John’s is at 152 Montford Ave. For a full menu and additional information, visit avl.mx/c45.

Two new openings at the Asheville Outlets

Shoppers in need of a caffeine pick-me-up or quick meal while perusing deals at the Asheville Outlets have two new options, with the recent openings of Overlook Coffee Collective and Cedeno Food & Mac Bar.

Locally owned and operated by founder Carrie Prado, Overlook Coffee Collective offers a large selection of coffee beans from various roasters and origins, locally sourced tea blends, smoothies, pastries and nutrition bars, as well as home goods and art. “I want our customers to experience a sense of community when stopping by our shop,” says Prado in a news release. “My goal is Southern hospitality to the fullest. Customers will be greeted with smiles and provided with an amazing drink crafted by well-trained baristas, and they’ll enjoy coffee beans from some of the finest roasters around.”

Cedeno Food & Mac Bar, named after owner Tracy Cedeno, brings a menu of quick bites such as hot dogs, chicken tenders and fries to the center’s food court. A build-your-own mac and cheese bowl encourages creative diners to customize the classic comfort food dish with toppings like bacon, broccoli, kielbasa, ham and more. “Cedeno Mac is excited to join the Asheville Outlets,” says Cedeno in a news release. “The food is fast and warm and brings a new twist to grab-and-go options.”

The Asheville Outlets are at 800 Brevard Road. Visit avl.mx/cq2 for hours, menus and additional information.

New NA options at McCormick Field

McCormick Field, home of the Asheville Tourists minor league baseball team, has added two nonalcoholic beers to the beer lineup for the 2023 season. Accommodating thirsty, sober patrons and establishing an inclusive refreshment environment was a priority for McCormick Field’s concession offerings, says Tyler Holt, chief operating officer of Asheville Moonshiners Concessions. “We want to be a place where any family in WNC can come out to a baseball game and enjoy themselves. Our wide selection of beer is something we boast about regularly; now we can add our nonalcoholic options to that list.”

Both beers are supplied by Athletic Brewing Co., one of the nation’s leading breweries specializing in only nonalcoholic beer. “Our fans requested some nonalcoholic beverages to enjoy alongside their friends, and Athletic Brewing Co. is a leader on that front,” says Holt. “They have a very recognizable brand that our fans can easily identify with.”

The Upside Dawn Golden Ale and the Free Wave Hazy IPA nonalcoholic beers are now available for sober baseball fans to enjoy at McCormick Field.

McCormick Field is at 30 Buchanan Place. Visit avl.mx/cq3 for Tourists tickets and additional information.

AMB buys back

Appalachian Mountain Brewery founders Nathan Kelischek and Chris Zieber, cousins and Asheville natives, have become the first craft brewers to ever buy themselves back from Anheuser-Busch.

Founded in 2011, Appalachian Mountain Brewery partnered with the Craft Brew Alliance in 2014 to increase production and expand distribution across the Carolinas. The Craft Brew Alliance then fully acquired the brewery in 2018, and when the alliance expanded a partnership with Anheuser-Busch, Appalachian Mountain Brewery joined Anheuser-Busch’s craft portfolio.

Now the original owners are back in the driver’s seat and ready to move forward again as independent business owners. “We will be shifting our focus immediately toward growing our local team, opening our new taproom in Mills River and continuing our investment in sustainability and philanthropy efforts that make a difference in our North Carolina communities,” say Kelischek and Zieber in a release. “This all hinges on producing the highest-quality products and delivering a unique experience for our customers.”

Appalachian Mountain Brewery is at 163 Boone Creek Drive, Boone. The new Mills River location opens this summer at 46 N. Mills River Road. To learn more about this historic announcement, visit avl.mx/cq1.

North Carolina represents at Beer Cup Awards

North Carolina brought home a total of 13 medals from the Brewers Association’s 2023 World Beer Cup Competition, recently held in Nashville, Tenn. This year’s competition welcomed a total of 10,213 beer entries from 2,376 breweries across 51 countries. Entries were judged in Nashville by 272 judges from 26 countries.

Asheville’s Hi-Wire Brewing (one silver) and New Belgium Brewing (one bronze) were responsible for two of the 13 medals. Boone’s Appalachian Mountain Brewery was awarded one gold and one silver medal as well.

“In addition to producing incredible world-class beer, North Carolina’s breweries are reinvigorating our rural downtowns, driving tourism across the state and creating thousands of jobs,” says Lisa Parker, executive director of the N.C. Craft Brewers Guild in a news release. “Our small businesses provide neighborhoods and communities with a welcoming space to gather.”

Visit avl.mx/cq4 for additional information.


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