By Nathan Ham
Boone continues to grow, and so has the popularity of the area that has quickly become known as “East Boone.” The Boone Area Chamber of Commerce held its Business After Hours event on Thursday at Booneshine Brewing to highlight the growth and major changes that are starting to happen.
David Jackson, the Boone Area Chamber of Commerce President/CEO, told the big crowd that had gathered about many of the upcoming plans in East Boone, including the future location of Boone’s town hall, police department and fire department. The North Carolina Department of Transportation will also be working on construction projects at intersections on Bamboo Road, Deerfield Road and Wilson Ridge Road as well as the addition of sidewalk and bicycle lanes to make travel much easier. All of these projects add up to several million dollars of investment into East Boone.
“I feel like as the town begins their project and people start flowing out this way, it’s just going to give people more reason to expand in this direction,” Jackson said.
Jackson added that approximately 3,000 linear feet of stream bank work has been done along the South Fork of the New River and the Perkinsville Drive project is should be completed at some point this summer.
In addition to Jackson’s remarks, Booneshine co-owner Carson Coatney and Hospitality House Director of Development Todd Carter spoke to the crowd about some of the things they are most proud of going on in East Boone right now.
Coatney and Tom Herdklotz are the owners of Booneshine Brewing and have seen their business come a long way since its inception.
“This is a culmination of a business that Tim and I had about seven years ago when we home brewed on our carport and had the vision to create a brewery,” said Coatney. “We got lucky and walked into this space in East Boone and it has been a real blessing to us. As soon as we were able to acquire this building, we immediately started reaching out to businesses in the neighborhood and trying to make connections.”
Coatney was quick to point out the local East Boone businesses have made their own mark inside Booneshine. The stools at the brewery were made at Charleston Forge and the leather on top of those stools was made at Carroll Leather Goods. For the Business After Hours event, ham biscuits were served that included ham made at Goodnight Brothers and Booneshine even offers coffee from Hatchet Coffee on Bamboo Road.
“Our main goal and our vision were to build a place where community could happen; where people could come and share drinks, break bread together, build relationships and be a part of making this an amazing community,” said Coatney. “When we named it Booneshine—it’s because we are passionate about making Boone shine, and all the things and all the people up here that make this a special place to live, a special place that I never want to leave. We feel really blessed to be a part of this community.”
Hospitality House is located on Brook Hollow Road, one quick turn off of Bamboo Road. It used to be located in downtown Boone but moved out to East Boone at a time when they were “out away from everything in a corner,” according to Carter. Now things have certainly changed with the addition of Hatchet Coffee, Booneshine and Center 45 Climbing and Fitness.
“I see this as a connector with us being able to cross the Greenway over here. It’s so exciting, it’s so great to feel like such a part of the growth in this community,” said Carter. “The energy around this, it motivates and infuses the people that we serve. When our folks are able to go up and get a coffee at Hatchet and socialize, that is meaningful. It’s a very powerful thing that they can go up there, they can climb, they can walk over here (to Booneshine) and I’m super excited that we are a part of this. We’ve only just begun.”
Hospitality House serves the homeless and those in need across seven counties in Northwest North Carolina. According to Carter, the most recent data says that the seven-county region (Ashe, Alleghany, Avery, Watauga, Wilkes, Mitchell and Yancey) that the Hospitality House serves has the third-highest percentage of unsheltered homeless families in Rural America.