The autumn season is a time for change and new beginnings.
An Asheville restaurant group temporarily closes to begin an extensive renovation project, a contemporary mercantile expands to another local neighborhood, offering a wider selection of regional specialty eats and treats, and a one of the city’s beverage companies asks customers to support restaurant industry workers seeking sobriety with each purchase of a can of peach lemonade.
La Bodega by Curate is a café, Spanish market and wine bar that opened at 32 S. Lexington Ave. in Asheville in May 2020. It will be closed Nov. 1-22 for the first stage of a full renovation.
Patrons won’t see immediate changes once the venue reopens on Nov. 23, said Felix Meana, co-founder. Major changes will be evident by Spring 2022.
“In order to do some of this stuff in the kitchen we had to close for a short period of time,” he said “They’re going to keep building in the months until spring, and we will be able to open up the whole space.”
Once the project is wrapped, La Bodega will have a full wine bar with bar stools allowing for an increased seating capacity. Additional public restrooms will be constructed. The retail area will have a clean layout for an improved shopping experience.
The first-level prep kitchen will be expanded for full use. Repairs and revamps will be done to the bar, décor and the original hardwood floors.
The larger upstairs kitchen will remain closed as the second floor is made into an all-day café.
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Guests can expect the same service and staff when they return after the temporary closure, Meana said.
“For the three weeks, we’re not letting anybody go. We’re keeping the whole staff,” he said. “We’re going to use that time to clean, to do appropriate training and some people can take PTO. It’s going to be a good time to be able to get on the same pace and get better for when we reopen.”
Meanwhile, customers are encouraged to order specialty marketplace items from the Katie Button Restaurant Group online through Curate at Home, curateathome.com/. Shipping is available nationwide.
La Bodega will reopen to the public on Nov. 23, the week of Thanksgiving. Holiday offerings will include pumpkin Basque-style cheesecake and a Spanish holiday classic, Canelones, fill with duck, black truffle and foie gras.
For more about La Bodega, visit curatetapasbar.com/la-bodega/.
Trail mix bar and s’mores
In October, Provisions Mercantile’s second location opened at 14 Lodge St. in Biltmore Village.
The modern-day general store features an eclectic inventory of home goods, gifts, apparel, toys and more. The retailer has enhanced local and regional artisan food at the new location that’s convenient for locals and tourists.
Customers can shop the retail refrigerator and freezer for products such as Asheville’s Sunshine Sammies ice cream collection and Callie’s frozen biscuits from South Carolina.
“We are carrying a company out of Raleigh, North Carolina that you can’t find around here but it’s a highly sought-after gourmet prepared but frozen food items called Ladyfingers,” said Heather Wright, co-owner.
The build-your-own trail mix bar is popular for hikers and visitors on the go, she said.
“Over the holiday we’re going to be doing a build-your-own s’mores bar in addition to the trail mix bar, she said.
The s’mores will be stocked with homemade marshmallows, graham crackers, local chocolates. Small firepit-style burners for on-the-go s’mores toasting will be sold, too.
The small, prepared charcuterie boxes are another popular item, which features a variety of local cheeses, meat, cookies and crackers.
Visit Provisions Mercantile in Biltmore Village from 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 12-5 p.m. Sunday.
For more information, visit provisionsmercantile.com or call (828) 505-0592.
Provisions Mercantile has another location at 728 Haywood Road in West Asheville.
Devil’s Foot Beverage Company specializes in non-alcoholic, craft sodas produced in downtown Asheville. Drinks are made low-sugar with organic roots and fruits and locally-sourced ingredients.
Through the end of the year, Devil’s Foot is committing partial proceeds from the sale of Sparkling Peach Lemonade to Ben’s Friends.
Ben’s Friends is a nonprofit that supports workers in the food and beverage industry who are seeking sobriety from drugs or alcohol. The organization has chapters in cities nationwide, including Asheville.
“It’s a wonderful support group that’s a little more catered to the industry, as opposed to large, anonymous meetings,” said Ben Colvin, co-owner of Devil’s Foot. “Ben’s Friends meets at a time that’s a little more accessible for the food and beverage industry and… most people in the room can understand what everyone else is going through.”
“I think it’s cool to have everything that’s in that can reflecting what’s going on at Ben’s Friends,” Colvin said. “It’s something that’s community-focused and it’s celebratory and it’s a very positive, bright image of what’s going on.’
The Sparkling Peach Lemonade is made with fresh-squeezed organic lemons and peaches sourced from the Clemson University Agriculture program. It contains 18g of sugar, sweetened from the fruit’s natural juices, plus organic cane sugar and regionally sourced honey. It is available at Devil’s Foot and many local breweries and retailers across the city and region. Find locations at devilsfootbrew.com.
Tiana Kennell is the food and dining reporter for the Asheville Citizen Times, part of the USA Today Network. Email her at [email protected] or follow her on Twitter/Instagram @PrincessOfPage.