‘Mountain Modern with a Global Twist’: The Ridgeline Food and Spirits Opens in Blowing Rock

Published Tuesday, July 17, 2018 at 8:51 am

Richard and Faisuly Scheurer along with their daughters, Sarah and Alex.

By Nathan Ham

An iconic building in Blowing Rock adds yet another tenant to the list of places that called the former spot of Holly’s Tavern, The Big Dollar and Canyon’s Restaurant home.

The Ridgeline Food and Spirits officially opened its doors a little over five months after Canyon’s closed for the final time on Feb. 4.

Former owner, Bart Conway, sold the business to new owners, Richard and Faisuly Scheurer. Rich and Fai met in Colorado and eventually navigated their way to the High Country after most recently calling Orlando home. The couple has two daughters, Alex and Sarah, and have been married for 17 years.

Conway opened Canyon’s in May of 2001 and saw the restaurant become one of the hottest places to be in the High Country with great food, drinks and music.

The Scheurer family is hoping to keep that tradition going with The Ridgeline.

“Rich worked in pretty much every restaurant in town for about seven years and a lot of it was research too because we always wanted to open up our own place. In the back of my mind, that was my five-year plan, and it turned into a seven-year plan because we had to have the right venue,” Fai said.

Fai said they passed on a few opportunities over the years, but once the opportunity to purchase the former Canyon’s business turned into a reality, there was just no turning that down.

“Rich got a job here a couple years ago and Bart was just tired and over it,” she said.

The business purchase was already under contract before the Scheurer’s had a chance to buy it, but sometimes fate just works in mysterious ways and the original deal fell through.

“We get a call in the middle of January and Bart said the restaurant is ours if we want it, the deal fell through. Of course I said ‘okay, you’ll have your money in 30 days,’” Fai said.

The grand opening ribbon cutting at The Ridgeline happened earlier this month. Photo courtesy – David Mayo

Fai’s husband, Rich, was quick to acknowledge how much that Bart and his businesses have meant to the area.

“There’s no getting around the fact that Bart Conway is a restaurant and entertainment legend in the High Country,” he said.

Rich says that he had hinted around to Bart about possibly buying the business one day when he decided to retire. Once he did purchase the business and started to remodel it, Bart came by and thought everything looked great.

“I love Bart very much and for him to be proud of what we did, it made me feel good,” said Rich.

The building got nearly an entire remodel inside, including the floors, the walls and the ceiling.

Keeping history intact, however, was also important to the new owners. Fai says that the current bar was originally part of the Holly’s Tavern bar that was being used as picnic tables. The bar has many initials that were carved in there years ago when it was Holly’s Tavern.

“What better place to celebrate the history of Blowing Rock than right here in this building,” said Fai.

The people have been incredibly supportive so far according to Fai.

“The people that live here make this place special,” she said. “I want a neighborhood place, I want people to come in and feel like we’re celebrating them. They’re part of the High Country too.”

One of the most important parts of the building, the amazing view from the dining room, will still provide patrons with some of the best views in the High Country, including John’s River Gorge, Grandfather Mountain, Grandmother Mountain, Hawk’s Bill, Table Rock and even Mount Mitchell on sunny, clear days. The deck outside is also a great place to have a nice meal and be outside with the best views around.

Sara Hord, a native of rural Eastern Tennessee, who has traveled all parts of the country before returning back close to home, prepares the food as the executive chef. Fai says that Sara moved back thinking she was going to retire, instead they shared the same vision for a restaurant and now she is here to help prepare some delicious meals at The Ridgeline.

The menu has been a work in progress after the soft opening earlier this month but will include high quality salads, sandwiches, tasty appetizers and dinner plates. All of their dressings are homemade and salads are freshly prepared each day. The menu will include daily specials during the week as well. To see what all The Ridgeline Food and Spirits has to offer, visit their website here.

The Ridgeline is also looking for a few more great workers to add to their staff. Employment information is available here.

The Ridgeline staff is eager to give each and every patron a wonderful dining experience.

A view of the dining room and bar area. Photo courtesy – David Mayo

The views offered from the dining room at The Ridgeline are some of the best that you’ll ever find in the High Country.

One wall near the door is dedicated to the history of the area with old postcards and newspaper clippings.

The bar was built from the old pieces of the bar that was originally part of Holly’s Tavern many years ago. Foggy Rock and Sunny Rock owner Burt Myers was there for the grand opening and found his initials carved into the wood, like many customers at Holly’s did back in the day. Photo courtesy – David Mayo

The beers available on tap will feature a lot of local beers throughout the year. Photo courtesy – David Mayo

The menu has a full list of appetizers, desserts, sandwiches and dinner plates that will offer a wide variety for customers.

Sara Hord is the executive chef at The Ridgeline and has been working hard to craft together a menu that will offer a little bit of everything.

There is still some work to be done outside, including a new sign that is being completed by a local artist.

The dining room features brand new flooring but still maintains the fantastic mountain views.

The foyer offers barstool seating.

This 600-year-old gate was given to the owners as a gift and found a nice home near the door.

 

The kitchen area underwent some extensive renovations.

Deck seating is available with terrific views.

 

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