By Jessica Isaacs | [email protected]
Photos by Ken Ketchie.
You’ve heard of the farm-to-table movement, but how about farm-to-bar? There’s a brand new tavern at one of your favorite High Country spots, and they’re bringing the best in fresh local ingredients to your next cocktail!
A quick drive from Boone will bring you to the Linville community, where you’ll find a delightful little place known as the Old Hampton Store, which was first built in 1920.
Today, current owners Abigail and Steve Sheets have invested countless hours and a lot of money into improving the historic general store and surrounding buildings, which now house a classic North Carolina barbecue restaurant, a trading post, an art gallery, an antique store and, new this summer, a tavern.
“The store is a very nice environment where someone can do a little bit of everything,” said Morgan Hockaday, head bartender and bar manager. “The tavern is a wonderful addition. We’re using all local craft beers from breweries in North Carolina, especially in Banner Elk, Boone and Plumtree. We’re really, really strong in supporting the local community.”
Hockaday will also be introducing what she calls a “farm-to-bar” style cocktail menu, which will incorporate fresh, organic ingredients from nearby farms.
Ready to try one? Head to the store this weekend for the tavern’s grand opening on Saturday and Hockaday will have one ready for you. She’ll be introducing some signature drinks, like a jalapeño watermelon cocktail, and local bluegrass group WD40 will be serving up some tunes.
Whether you’re new to the Old Hampton Store or not, there’s no better way to kick off your summer than a Saturday at its brand new tavern.
While you’re there, sit for a spell in the restaurant or out on the lawn to enjoy its famous smoky barbecue recipe; satisfy your sweet tooth at the candy barrels; swing by the adjoining gallery to shop top-quality crafts and artwork.
“This place will give you a taste of the local North Carolina mountains,” Hockaday said. “It’s not just a cocktail, a beer, or a glass of wine. It’s a taste of what life in the High Country has to offer.”
Whet your whistle at the Old Hampton Store this weekend. You’ll be glad you did!
The store is located at 77 Ruffin St. in Linville. For more information, stop by, give them a call at 828-733-5213 or follow the store on Facebook.
The Old Hampton Store hours on Saturday, June 4:
The General Store: 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.
The Barbecue Restaurant: 11 a.m. to 8:30 p.m.
The Tavern: 11 a.m. to 11 p.m.