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Canyons of Blowing Rock Closing Sunday; New Restaurant to Open In Spring

By Luke Weir

Canyons historic restaurant and bar will host its final Sunday brunch this weekend after a Saturday night sendoff celebration, marking the end of seventeen years in Blowing Rock.

Bart Conway opened Canyons in May 2001 and said he never had a bad customer.

“We had some really good music here,” Conway said. “It was a nice run.”

Conway is relinquishing the restaurant’s iconic Blue Ridge views to Canyons bartender Rich Scheurer and his wife, Faisuly, who are remodeling the building and opening a new restaurant in April.

Famous for its million-dollar view, Canyons is open one last weekend, and closes its doors for the last time Sunday, February 4 at 5 p.m.

Friends of the restaurant are encouraged to bring their own instruments, play some music and enjoy an open stage sendoff Saturday starting at 7 p.m., followed by farewell brunch the next morning at the usual time, 11 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.

“We’re all going to be here, and we want anybody who wants to say goodbye to stop in,” Conway said.

Conway was part-owner of the legendary P.B. Scott’s music hall in Blowing Rock, and owned a pair of restaurants in Boone before Canyons. The walls of Canyons are lined with memorabilia from P.B. Scott’s, and the restaurant hosted many a reunion for the old club.

Conway said he does not have plans once Canyons closes.

Prior to Canyons, Blowing Rock’s 8960 Valley Boulevard was known as The Bark, the Big Dollar, Holly’s Tavern, and The Emporium. In April, the building will re-open as Ridgeline, co-owned by Rich and Faisuly Scheurer.

Ridgeline will have a rustic speakeasy and dance hall feel compared to Canyons’ southwestern atmosphere, Faisuly Scheurer said in a phone interview with High Country Press.

“Rich is a bartender, so we’ll have great drinks,” Scheurer said. “We’re still going to have some southwest items, but the menu will be more American plus some ethnic flavor, like ceviche, empanadas, and cool specials.”

The Scheurers said they signed a long-term lease for the building and there is no interest in converting it to living space, contrary to rumors floating around Blowing Rock.

Ridgeline is scheduled to open sometime mid-april, and renovations start Monday, February 5. Before starting work on their new restaurant, the Scheurers want to see Conway and Canyons out in a celebration that will revive the old restaurant’s ties to live music and dancing.

“Come to Canyons, get up on stage and jam,” Scheurer said. “Bart is a legend, we want to give him a good sendoff.”

Bart Conway at his “corner office” where he took care of restaurant business in the afternoons.
The outside of Canyons with windows looking out over the “million dollar” views.
P.B. Scott memorabilia line the walls at Canyons
The dining room section of Canyons
The famous bar at Canyons
The famous bar at Canyons

Bart Conway in the dining room
The stage that saw many a band over the years including Leon Russell – twice!