South Street preps for November opening, and other restaurant news

SMALL BITES

South Street Brewery, now owned by Blue Mountain Brewery owners Taylor and Mandi Smack, will open its doors again next month. Rammelkamp Foto South Street Brewery, now owned by Blue Mountain Brewery owners Taylor and Mandi Smack, will open its doors again next month. Rammelkamp Foto

Old brewery, new tricks

South Street Brewery is just a hops, skip, and a jump away from being back up and running. The downtown brewpub and restaurant has updated its “fall” re-opening to late October, with a soft open for friends and family planned before the doors swing wide in early November.

“We’re going to keep it simple, make sure our food’s good, our beer’s awesome, and the service is the best you can get in town,” said co-owner Mandi Smack.

Smack, who also owns Blue Mountain Brewery and Barrel House with her husband Taylor, said the new South Street will feature a remodeled interior in addition to updated beer and an all new food menu. A walk by the pub these days will offer a good look at some heavy construction, a process Smack said would render the place almost unrecognizable even to former regulars. (The restaurant’s fireplace centerpiece will stay, though.)

Smack was tight lipped about the new menu South Street will be cooking up, but there’s plenty of information out there on the new suds. Smack said the brew team, which includes Mitch Hamilton in addition to her husband, is focusing on cleanliness—all the former South Street tap lines have been replaced—and consistency. They’re currently producing South Street’s signature Satan’s Pony and two new beers, the Bar Hopper IPA and 365 Shandy, out of Blue Mountain’s Barrel House brewery in Arrington, Va. When the downtown brewhouse is fully functioning, they’ll also be reviving a few other as-yet unnamed favorites from South Street’s lineup while adding new mainstays like the My Personal Helles Lager and a seasonal series known as Barstools and Dreamers.

When the dust settles on the construction, South Street will be open for lunch and dinner seven days a week, offering 12 taps of house-made beer to complement food that will be “inspired by the Blue Mountain brewpub in Afton.” If the powers that be allow it, a few of those taps may even feature Blue Mountain brews.

“We are definitely run as two separate businesses, but there will be collaborations,” Smack said.

Buon compleanno, tavola

It’s been nearly five years since Michael and Tami Keaveny (who happens to be C-VILLE’s arts editor) opened the doors of tavola, the Belmont spot that quickly became known as the one to beat in the annual Best of
C-VILLE’s “best Italian restaurant” category. To celebrate half a decade of serving up rustic classics like skillet-roasted mussels, Maiale Milanese, and chocolate torte, the team will hold a fifth anniversary dinner on Saturday, October 18.

A new crew took over kitchen duty after chef Loren Mendosa bowed out late this summer on a pizza venture. The guys are still fine-tuning the details of the five-course birthday dinner, but the Keavenys said you can expect offerings of what they do best, like housemade pastas, risottos, and seafood dishes.

Beginning at 6:30pm, the prix fixe feast is $100 per person, plus $50 for a wine pairing. Tavola doesn’t traditionally take reservations for dinner, but call 972-9463 to claim your spot for this one, because it’s filling up fast.

Movin’ on up

Since its 2012 opening, Bold Rock Hard Cider has been serving up samples and selling cases of its hard apple cider from behind the counter in a small, rustic barn next to the gravel parking lot. Signs and renderings posted in the barn have been promising a spring opening of an elaborate taproom and restaurant overlooking the nearby Rockfish River and Blue Ridge Mountains, and finally, as of Monday, September 22, it’s officially up and running.

You may recognize the $4 million new facility, as it matches the picture on the cider bottles’ labels. Originally sketched and designed by one of Bold Rock’s founders, the building has three fireplaces and 600 native oak beams. And while there’s nothing quite like unpacking a picnic lunch outside the cidery during the summer, the restaurant featuring local grub may make the cidery a more popular winter destination.

Skewered

The space on Main Street once operated as Ariana Grill Kabob House has been cleared out—an auction of the restaurant’s assets was held on September 22—and the future of the space is about as clear as the contents of gyro meat.

According to a notice on the front door of the restaurant, former owner Mirahmad Mirzai defaulted on the property sometime in the past several months, and Ariana’s landlord “elected to enter and retake possession of the premises.” The notice indicates the default entitled Ariana’s landlord to sell the contents of the restaurant, including tables, chairs, a four-bay steam table, a point-of-sale register, a grill, a six-burner range, and a Shawarma roaster rotisserie. Representatives of Lenhart Petit, the law firm acting on behalf of Ariana’s landlord, confirmed the auction was held but weren’t available to offer specifics by press time.

Mirzai, who still operates the Afghan Kabob Palace on Emmett Street, did not respond to a request for comment. According to his bio on the Kabob Palace website, Mirzai moved to the U.S. from Kabul in 1983 and opened his first Charlottesville restaurant in 2002.

Have a scoop for Small Bites? E-mail us at bites@c-ville.com or call 817-2749 (x38). 

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