By Jesse Wood
Closed since New Year’s Day because of renovations and expansion, Vidalia, a restaurant and wine bar on King Street, is back open for business.
The renovations were extensive as Vidalia expanded into next door. The dining capacity is now double, accommodating 80, which was much needed because of the demand of seating. A new 18-foot copper bar was installed into the new space and wraps seamlessly through the restaurant into the kitchen, which was also expanded.
Owners Sam and Alyce Ratchford also moved the entrance to the restaurant to the next door, where a foyer exists with a view of King Street. This new lobby area, which features an aesthetic wine-crate wall, also blocks the blast of cold air that used to greet guests in the winter when the entrance door was opened. The bar portion also features a new wine rack on the back wall. In all, it’s a pretty spectacular refurbishment and expansion. There’s also lounge seating inside.
“We are very pleased with how everything has turned out,” Alyce said. “So far everyone has been excited and seems to be really pleased with the new look.”
One thing that the Ratchfords were especially pleased with is that even though the size has doubled, Vidalia retained its intimate and relaxed atmosphere.
“It’s still intimate,” Alyce said. “We tried to hold onto that.”
Previously, Vidalia didn’t have a bar menu. Now with a bar that’s open from 11:30 a.m. to 10:30 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday, the bar menu features some of the old favorites like the Vidalia onion rings and truffle fries. It also features a variety of wings, short rib tacos, an eight-ounce burger and soups and salads.
Even with these new changes, the Ratchfords aren’t done yet. Once the winter weather is about gone for good in late April or early May, they are going to have a covered, screen porch built, which will extend into the parking lot that borders the Rams Rack thrift store.
This will add about 20 to 30 seats and diners will be able to enjoy the scenic summer and fall weather in downtown Boone. Alyce said this will be a sweet addition to Vidalia as the deck will run the full depth of the building.
Sam grew up in Blowing Rock, where he worked at Storie Street Grille in Blowing Rock, where Alyce also worked while she was attending Appalachian State University.
Sam attended the New England Culinary Institute in Vermont to hone his cooking skills, and several years ago, the couple made a leap of faith and purchased Vidalia. They haven’t looked back since.
Check out HCpress.com’s Business Spotlight on Vidalia that was written last fall to learn more about this independent, family-owned restaurant that changes with the seasons and incorporates local ingredients into its menus.
For more information, click to www.vidaliaofboonenc.com or call 828-263-9176. Vidalia is located across from the Watauga County Courthouse at 831 West King St in downtown Boone.
Hours of Operation
Lunch: Tuesday thru Saturday 11:30 a.m. – 2 p.m.
Dinner: Tuesday thru Saturday 5 p.m. – 9 p.m.
Brunch: Sunday Only 11 a.m. – 2 p.m. (menu changes weekly)
Bar: Tuesday thru Saturday 11:30 a.m. – 10:30 p.m.