by Brionna Dallara
Aaron Thomas, co-owner of Nine Mile restaurants, says he and his business partners did not set out to launch a brewery inside the company’s Montford Avenue location.
But a few years ago, when neighboring business Harmony Interiors relocated, the Nine Mile team expanded its Montford location.
Initially, the team planned to keep Harmony Interiors’ home theater layout. “We were going to … have private movie showings where customers could eat Nine Mile, watch a movie and rent the room out,” Thomas says.
But the associated costs, the group soon realized, were too expensive.
Pivoting, the team landed on a brewery. What the group thought would take a couple of months morphed into a much longer project on account of the COVID-19 pandemic.
More than three years later, Thomas describes the brewery’s debut as a major victory. “It just feels really good to not have given up,” he says.
Nine Mile’s former kitchen manager, Evan Boose, is heading the brewery. Thomas notes Boose had no brewing experience but went all in, working with other local breweries to learn the craft. Thomas points to Matt Huntley, head brewer at The Bier Garden, as a particularly helpful mentor who took Boose under his wing.
“[Boose] did a crash course for probably six to eight months,” Thomas says. “He’s always been really passionate about making a good product. … It’s a testament to his character of paying attention to detail and understanding why even the small things are important.”
According to Thomas, Nine Mile is currently offering a couple stouts, a Mexican lager and a popular Juicy IPA.
“Our goal is to have six to seven beers, with probably four flagship beers that always stay the same,” Thomas says. The brewery is also looking into hard seltzers.
The Nine Mile brewery is at 233 Montford Ave. For more information, visit avl.mx/ax3.
Coffee by day, dance party by night
The Radical, a new hotel in the River Arts District, recently celebrated the launch of its third and final eatery. Restaurateur Jacob Sessoms‘ after/glow is a cafe and bar, operating 7 a.m.-10 p.m. Daytime counter service includes espresso, drip coffee from Counter Culture Coffee, selections from Dobra Tea and specialty drinks.
“We serve a draft latte that’s very delicious,” says barista David Angioletti. “It’s basically our take on if a Guinness was a coffee and had that frothiness to it. You can make it with any flavor, but we recommend doing orange creamsicle.”
Each day at 3 p.m. the cafe transitions into a cocktail bar serving handcrafted drinks. Currently, after/glow also features a rotating set of DJs Thursday-Sunday nights.
“Our ambiance and vibe in the morning is very relaxed,” Angioletti says. “We ramp up more toward the evening and by 8 o’clock we’re out here partying.”
after/glow is at 95 Roberts St. For more information, visit avl.mx/d9u.
Wine about it
Metro Wines is hosting its latest tasting on Tuesday, Jan. 30, 4-6 p.m. The shop will sample wines from the California-based August Briggs Winery and will be joined by its owner, August Briggs. All samples are free and no reservations are required.
“We have chosen wines that represent the new grapes coming from Napa Valley,” says John Kerr, co-owner of Metro Wines, in a press release.
Metro Wines is at 169 Charlotte St. For more information, visit avl.mx/da9.
Each January, the U.K.-based nonprofit Veganuary hosts its an annual vegan challenge, inviting individuals and businesses to learn more about the benefits of a plant-based diet.
Mellow Mushroom is participating this year by bringing back one of its most popular vegan dishes, the Miss Mushroom pizza, as well as introducing its new Lavender Groove mocktail. Both items will be available at all Mellow Mushroom locations through Monday, March 4.
Mellow Mushroom is at 50 Broadway. To learn more, visit avl.mx/da8.
Regina’s ranks No.2
Earlier this month, USA Today ranked Regina’s as the second “best new restaurant in the U.S. that you need to try in 2024.”
The West Asheville spot is the only North Carolina-based restaurant ranked.
“We’re superexcited that all of our hard work is getting recognized and that more people are getting a taste for our food,” says co-owner Lisa Wagner. “It’s gotten a superpositive reaction from people these first six months, and we’re happy to share it with more people. We could not be more thrilled.”
Launched in June, Regina’s serves Southern staples such as shrimp and grits, biscuits and gravy, and fried chicken and waffles.
Wagner describes the restaurant ambiance as “total queen energy.” Both the decor and recipes celebrate the strong women who’ve influenced the cuisine.
Regina’s is at 1400 Patton Ave. For more information, visit avl.mx/crx.
A Noble move
Noble Cider closed its 49 Rankin Ave location on Jan. 14.
The Cidery, at 356 New Leicester Highway, remains open.
“Your favorite glass of draft cider or mead will be waiting for you at The Cidery, during this temporary pause in our downtown presence,” says owner and cidermaker Lief Stevens, in a press release. “We hope to find the perfect space for our new Asheville taproom very soon, and when we do we look forward to welcoming you with even more delicious cider, mead and snacks”.
For more information, visit avl.mx/d9v.