Just in time for fall patio weather, CreekSide Taphouse is open. The Haw Creek restaurant occupies the old Ruby's building and the abundant outdoor space that surrounds it: a covered porch, open deck, picnic tables in the grass, a volleyball court and a playground for the kids.
“Setting up this entire space was based on what was here before and what we felt would go really well in the neighborhood,” says owner Brendan Dennehy. “We saw a need for the space, so we didn't really want to break it down too much.”
Now, the outdoor amenities come with a new menu and tap list. Dennehy, son of City Bakery's Pat and Rose Dennehy, owns the new restaurant with his wife, Patty. Along with Gil Holmes, formerly of 12 Bones Smokehouse and Asheville Brewing, they're serving up enthusiastic bar food, local brews, domestic standards and liquor drinks.
“We want to respect what the neighborhood wants,” Patty says. “We want to try to offer them things they might not have tried … but we respect the fact that it's a neighborhood. You want your comfortable neighborhood bar, and if we can provide that, there you go.”
With 19 beers on tap, the Dennehys hope to provide a beer for every imbiber. The 10 North Carolina taps pour the works of Asheville Brewing, French Broad, Highland, Green Man, Pisgah and Foothills. But old standards receive ample representation as well, including Sierra Nevada, Guinness, Bud Light and Yuengling.
Barbecue takes center stage on the menu in a series of pastries, nachos, sandwiches, stews and plates. So far, Brendan says the most popular item has been the “CreekSide BBQ Club,” a sandwich within a sandwich; layers of smoked pork, sliced ham, smoked turkey, smoked bacon and fried green tomatoes surround a grilled cheese sandwich in the center. Yes, it's decadent, but it's also carefully made and proportioned for sharing.
CreekSide's barbecue sauce options take on a lot of territory. “We're trying to get all the flavors covered in the South,” Holmes says. “You've got your tomato. You've got your Alabama white sauce. You've got your vinegar from here.” Vinegar bases the house sauce, but a sauce bar provides the others, which also include mustard-based and jalapeño garlic.
Even among the barbecue and burgers, the menu respects veggies. The salads come large and fresh, and portobellos fill out sandwiches and nachos. Holmes says he reserves a corner of the grill just for the mushrooms.
CreekSide Taphouse, 9 Beverly Road, opens daily from 4 p.m. to 12 a.m. The kitchen closes at 10 p.m. Lunch hours are planned. Get more info at 575-2880 or at CreekSide's Facebook page.