SCOUTING AROUND: New places to eat, drink come with experienced owners
In Cherokee County, April showers bring many new businesses to the area. Just two weeks ago, Perrone’s Neighborhood Grill opened, ending the curiosity of what was going in the former Mama Mia’s location at 269 Valley River Ave., near Murphy Elementary School.
“It’s been phenomenal,” owner Charlie Perrone said. “We couldn’t ask for a more warm welcome than what we received.”
Charlie and his wife, Collette, came to Murphy from Ellijay, Ga., where they owned Charlie’s Italian Restaurant for more than a decade before selling it in November. Before that, they owned Charlie’s in Blairsville, Ga., and Aldo’s in Andrews (his father-in-law owned the Aldo’s in Murphy). Perrone has worked in the restaurant business for 49 years, and said his whole family – he is the youngest of 11 children born in Italy – is in the restaurant business.
His kids grew up in Cherokee County, and he has grandkids here today. When Perrone decided to retire, one of his sons suggested opening a smaller restaurant in Murphy.
“This is like a hobby to me,” Perrone said.
As a result, the restaurant is only open for dinner from Wednesday through Saturday. It has a menu full of dishes that are simply what Perrone likes to make – fresh steak, ribeyes, lamb chops and, of course, some Italian dishes.
Several more places to eat and drink are expected to open in the next month.
u In just a few days, downtown Murphy will have a bakery again. Wayne Peacock and Eugene Apanasevich, owners of Bistro 29, plan to open The Bake Shop at 13 Tennessee St. by the end of month.
“The goal is to be open by Art Walk (on Friday, May 3),” Peacock said.
The bakery will not be full service and is modeled off a European bakery. They will have breads and pastries, but do not plan on having cakes or cupcakes, even though Peacock once had a wedding cake business on the side several years ago. (He believes there are much more talented special event cake bakers in the area.) They are going to work on providing gluten-free and sugar-free items in the bakery.
The Bake Shop will also have a full coffee bar with espresso and drip coffee, organic teas, soda and organic juices. For those who miss their kitchen store, Pinch, which closed a few months ago, some popular items will be available to purchase in a retail area.
Opening a bakery is something both men have been passionate about for a while, Peacock said.
“I believe every small town needs a good bakery,” he said.
They plan to have the bakery open starting at 7 a.m. Monday through Friday, and 8 a.m. on the weekends. They will figure out how late they need to be open as the business gets off the ground.
u Aarance So has worked in various positions in the restaurant business on and off for 35 years, including owning a restaurant in Tampa, Fla. A little over a year ago, he was offered an opportunity to share his expertise in Asian food with a new restaurant.
“I thought maybe I’ll try one more time in my life,” So said. “I’m not going anywhere, and I want to try to do something for the community.”
He didn’t want to rush in opening the restaurant because he wanted to make sure he did it right. Everything in the building is brand new.
So’s Good Kitchen plans to open the first week of May at 1221 U.S. 64 W. In Murphy. It will be open for both lunch and dinner, with a hot bar at lunch and a menu for dinner. There will be mostly Chinese food, but he plans to also have Vietnamese, Thai and Korean options.
“Hopefully the community will like it,” he said.
So grew up in Hong Kong, and moved to the United States in 1983. He opened his first restaurant when he was in his mid-20s at Twin Rivers Mall in New Bern. However, he said he still learned a few new techniques in his most recent restaurant job, as a chef at Panda Express in Harrah’s Cherokee Valley River Casino & Hotel in Murphy.
u Terry Vaughn thought his brewery would be open by now, but he faced setbacks with the federal government shutdown earlier this year. His goal is to open Snowbird Mountains Brewery by Memorial Day.
He’s been brewing beer for a long time, as used to work for Grumpy Old Men Brewing in Blue Ridge, Ga. He has been working since December to open his own brewery in Andrews at 378 Locust St., on the corner across from Hall Memorial Park.
“I like the scenery, and everything about this town intrigues me,” Vaughn said. “And I have a passion for a good craft beer.”
He picked the location for the view, and even has the bar – which was made out reclaimed wood – positioned so the bartender is facing that view. There is a variety of seating inside, as well as outdoor seating planned.
Vaughn said he also plans to host local music and hold trivia nights. He is getting excited about opening, and his wife, Linda, is, too. In fact, she is learning how to brew beer, which is fitting well with her training as a pharmacist.
Andrews already has two breweries, but he thinks they will all work together to bring people to the Valley.
“If you make it a destination point, they are going to come,” Vaughn said. “I think it could handle another brewery.”
u Just down the road from Vaughn, Kathy and David Moore wanted to open a sandwich shop this spring, but issues with plumbing and wiring in the 1945 building on the corner of Main and Locust Streets put those dreams on hold. Instead, they are opening Moore Old Stuff this week in the same location, just in time for the annual Spring Fling.
The store, at 998 Main St., is a vintage throwback, with mostly housewares.
“We take old stuff that people throw out and refurbish it,” Kathy Moore said. “We like to repurpose and recycle.”
They got started with their love of the old with linens, before traveling to antique and craft shows all over Georgia and South Carolina to sell their items. The Moores are retiring by settling down and opening the store.
The small eatery is still a goal for the couple, which they will open in the shop as soon as possible.
Samantha Sinclair is the Scouting Around columnist for the Cherokee Scout. You can reach her by email, email@example.com; fax, 837-5832; or by leaving a message in the office at 837-5122.