We’re having more classic mountain weather tonight, the thick fog suffused with light from the sun going down. Makes driving a little harder, but I happen to love it very much.
We dropped into Chester’s, the hot new spot in Blue Ridge, to try to get a little more of the back story. It’s the journalist in one of us, I suppose. It was a little quieter and a little emptier, at least until it got to be about 5:30, when the place started filling up. We met one of the owners, Stacy Heath, and said hey to her husband, Stuart Arp. She’s from Daytona Beach, and we really enjoyed talking to her. She keeps a very close eye on her store, and that’s something I appreciate as I used to own a small business. (When you do, you learn pretty quickly that bad things don’t just happen, they happen because the owner doesn’t care.) Stuart is from Downer’s Grover, Illinois, and apparently Chester Brunnenmeyer was his grandfather, who owned a bar for a number of years. There are a lot of nice photos of him on the wall. The kitchen looked clean and well laid out, and, as I’ve said before, they’ve done a great job building out the space. I wish them luck, as it’s a nice addition to Blue Ridge. It’s rather ironic. When my parents moved to Atlanta, there was about one restaurant in town, the Coach & Six. And now Atlanta is a great restaurant town. Well, when we moved to Blue Ridge, the best restaurant in town was the Wendy’s (Kay Kendall’s Forge Mill Crossing having passed into other hands). And now we’re in a fair way to become a great restaurant and craft beer town, along with a great arts and music town. To be honest, I never really wanted it to change, but now that it has, I’m pretty delighted in spite of myself. With the Black Sheep, the Brewery, Harvest, Danny’s new place Masseria, and Chester’s we’ve staked a real claim to be a destination for dining. Who knew, and who saw it coming? I don’t know, but it’s all good.