A few kids frolic on the playground while others chase each other on the sand volleyball court. One couple enjoys lunch at a picnic table near the babbling creek. Others enjoy some food under a covered porch. Not too far away a game of cornhole is just getting started. You might think you’re at a park, but it’s actually the site of Haw Creek’s newest restaurant: Creekside Taphouse.
Formerly the location of Ruby’s BBQ, Brendan and Patty Dennehy decided it was a perfect spot for the kind of restaurant they had envisioned—a neighborhood joint. Inside, entertainment options continue with darts, a pool table, foosball, a few arcade games, and numerous TVs on the walls.
With Brendan’s parents, Pat and Rose, operating City Bakery, Brendan and Patty gained experience in the restaurant business there. “We kind of learned by default from just being around my parents’ business,” Brendan says. From there, the couple kicked around a few concepts for a restaurant. Everything came together when the Ruby’s building came open.
“They had barbecue here before,” Brendan says, “so we wanted to make sure that was a big part of the menu.” But the food and beverage offerings are diverse. With Gil Holmes, who has experience in local restaurants and catering, leading up the kitchen team, Creekside Taphouse offers an array of food. Gill says some of the current favorites include the chili and stew. Hearty items such as the sliced beef brisket plate, slow-cooked country ribs, and the house-smoked pork sandwich also rank among the best-sellers. Brendan adds that the Creekside BBQ Club is another favorite. It is a triple-stack club layered with smoked pork, sliced ham, smoked turkey, smoked bacon, and fried green tomatoes with a grilled cheese sandwich in the middle along with club ranch sauce.
You’ll also find appetizers, burgers, and other sandwiches on the menu. “We’re new so we’re still experimenting,” Gil says. “We’re eliminating a few items that haven’t sold as well and we’re trying new things. One of the newest is our fried pimento cheese balls, which came from customer input. We had requests for cheese sticks but we wanted to do something different. We had lots of pimento cheese on hand, so we gave this a try.”
Gil says that the menu will see changes with the seasons, too. As spring rolls around, more salads will be available, for instance. “We hope to have a garden next spring, plus we hope to partner with local-sourced farms for the freshest ingredients,” Gil says.
With “taphouse” as part of the name, this neighborhood joint invites patrons to come in and enjoy its vast selection of beverages. With 20 beer taps currently available, Creekside Taphouse offers several local brews as well as a few regional and national choices. In addition, a handful of beers are offered in bottles or cans. “We wanted the local beers represented but we’ll try new things and offer exotic and seasonal choices,” Brendan says. “We want to get our hands on the most fun stuff possible. We want to keep our beverage choices appealing even for those who are regular customers.” For those not into beer, a full-service bar, a few wine choices, and an array of soft drinks and tea can quench your thirst.
Creekside Taphouse is also available for catering or to serve large groups. “We certainly have the space,” Brendan says about serving groups in the restaurant. “We’d love to host office parties, gatherings of local organizations, and holiday parties. We can serve a big group and still have room for our regular customers.”
Brendan adds that are also hosting live music. In fact, an old-time music jam is already garnering a regular Tuesday evening crowd while other live music is drawing lots of interest, too. And the goal is to host fund-raisers and other events, too. While the food, beverages, entertaining venue, and events are certainly important, the ultimate show of success for the Dennehys is for Creekside Taphouse to be accepted as a neighborhood hangout.
“We liked the neighborhood aspect of this location,” Brendan says of his venue that’s a bit off the beaten path. “We expect our traffic here to be more consistent. I mean, we’d love to have tourists and people from all over the Asheville area to come in. We think they’d feel right at home and would love it here, but our main goal is to serve the neighborhood and offer a great choice for food and drinks in East Asheville.”
Patty says that they are already feeling huge support from neighborhood patrons. “I’ve already had people thanking me and hugging me and welcoming us into the neighborhood,” Patty says. “That means a lot. It feels great to serve them.”
Creekside Taphouse is located at 8 Beverly Road in the Haw Creek neighborhood in East Asheville. It is open for lunch and dinner seven days a week and open past midnight on Friday and Saturdays. For more information call 828.575.2880, email firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit .