The next time you drive by Sunny Point Café in West Asheville, you might see something missing: a long line down the block.
The almost 20-year-old restaurant, especially popular during weekend brunch, quietly opened its annex, Rabbit Hole, in early March. The smaller café, which is situated behind its parent restaurant, is a place to enjoy a beverage or snack if you are waiting for a table at Sunny Point.
“A large part of the inspiration for opening this was to give people a place to wait if it’s cold or if it’s raining,” says co-owner April Moon Harper.
But the space also serves as a much-needed baking kitchen for Sunny Point — and features pastries, small bites, coffee beverages and some cocktails. “We really want this to be a place where people can come get a quick pickup item that represents our food,” says Harper.
The deck of Rabbit Hole, which overlooks the on-site garden and can hold up to 40 people, is available for private events and will also host special pop-ups such as family-style dinners.
“We’ll have seasonal things that will come up and change,” says Harper. “And we’re excited to do special things out of here such as the family-style dinners, where folks can sit out over the garden and enjoy featured produce and local food.”
Harper and co-owner Belinda Raab conceived the idea for the new spot before the pandemic. The name comes from the phrase “going down the rabbit hole,” which is what Harper and Raab say they felt they were doing during the project’s early stages.
“It’s taken a while and it’s been challenging,” Raab says. “But we’re here!”
Harper adds that she hopes that the addition will appeal to locals who may have stayed away from the café due to those long lines. “This is our way to reach out and let them know we love them still,” she says.
Rabbit Hole is at 9 State St. and is open Thursday-Sunday, 8:30 a.m. – 2 p.m. For more information, visit avl.mx/ci5.
Mayfel’s opens under new ownership
At the end of February, husband-and-wife team Anthony and Sherrye Coggiola, who own The Cantina in Biltmore Village, purchased and reopened Mayfel’s in downtown Asheville.
Changes to the downtown staple include aesthetic updates, maximizing the restaurant’s small space for efficiency and refocusing the menu to feature strictly Cajun and Creole cuisine.
The couple also plan to bring The Catina’s tradition of donating to MANNA FoodBank to Mayfel’s, where customers can support the local nonprofit through select menu purchases.
Sherrye says that once the weather warms up, the restaurant will also offer Mayfel’s Late, with a limited late-night menu and curated cocktails in the back courtyard.
Mayfel’s is at 22 College St. and is open Friday-Monday, 10 a.m.-3 p.m. and 4-8 p.m. For more information, visit avl.mx/ci6.
A wine dinner celebrating women
When chef Terri Terrell took a recent road trip through the Mississippi Delta to visit her roots, she was inspired by the overwhelming female presence at many of the roadside diners.
“Now don’t get me wrong the men folx were present as well,” says Terrell in a Facebook post. “But it was the women that were PRESENT.”
Terrell, the owner of the catering and consulting business The Clarksdale (named after her Mississippi hometown), returned to Asheville wanting to honor these women. At 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, March 29, Terrell will partner with local restaurateur Charlie Hodge and his Sovereign Remedies team, as well as Juniper Cooper of Johnson Brothers Mutual Distributing of NC, for the Women’s History Month Wine Dinner at Asheville Beauty Academy. The five-course dinner will feature plates and pours inspired by Delta-based female chefs and winemakers.
Menu items include po’boy bites with fried oysters, braised short rib dumplings and bread pudding made with Moon Pies and buttermilk ice cream. The $89 per person dinner will also feature Mississippi Delta stories shared by Terrell.
Asheville Beauty Academy is at 28 Broadway. For more information, visit avl.mx/ci7.
On March 7, the Buncombe County Board of Commissioners approved a proclamation that declared March 21 as Buncombe County Agriculture Awareness Day. “Buncombe County has over 1,000 farms and more than 72,000 acres of farmland, which produce $50 million in revenue,” read the proclamation. “Commissioners recognize that Buncombe County farmers produce safe, affordable and abundant food and fiber products that are used and consumed by Buncombe County citizens every day.”
To read the full proclamation, visit avl.mx/ci8.