Former Greyhound station becomes Hound bar; Zillicoah produces 11.5-ounce bottles of beer
ASHEVILLE - A new family and dog-friendly bar is rolling into the city. A local beer company releases its first bottled beer line.
Howling for more
It’s the end of the line for one business and the beginning of good times for another.
The Hound bar is on track to open in the former Greyhound Bus Lines station, 2 Tunnel Road in Asheville.
Greyhound moved its operations from the site in November 2020. In June, The Hound will tentatively open in its place. according to Robb Bennett, co-owner and operation manager.
Acquiring the vacant Greyhound building is a bit serendipitous for Bennett and co-owner Peter Montague — who also is a partner of Zambra restaurant.
Bennett is a former bartender and a programmer of 25 years with a longtime dream of opening a bar. Montague’s favorite dog is a greyhound. He owns one and has tattoos of the canine, Bennett said.
“When I was younger, I worked at a greyhound racetrack and my high school mascot was a greyhound,” Bennett said. “All these little things lined up. Then going to look at the building, it was absolutely perfect.”
The Hound is intended to offer a different experience from the environment to the beverages and snacks. Visitors may expect an elevated menu with the owners coming in with bar and restaurant backgrounds.
Liquor will not be on the menu, which will allow the business to welcome guests of all ages. The drink menu will feature beer, wine, mead, sake and mocktails. A shortlist of bar bites will be available, such as charcuterie boards and trout dip and other small plate dishes, Bennett said.
Also, there will be a rotating food truck schedule.
Construction is in the early stages. So far, the proprietors have demoed the interior, cleaned up the grounds, planted trees and spruced up the exterior with a fresh coat of gray paint, Bennett said.
Four large garage doors will open to the outdoor social spaces. A large portion of the concrete area once used for buses will be replaced with a fenced-in, landscaped back patio offering table seating and lighting to set the ambiance. A side patio will be added, too.
“It’s going to be gorgeous,” Bennett said. “It’s hard to compare to anything in Asheville because most of the things are just a field or a parking lot with tables in it. We really want to stand out and make it different and super sexy.”
Greyhound signage and paraphernalia that were left behind will be integrated into the bar’s design, including an exterior light-up sign that will be displayed inside.
Keeping to theme, The Hound will be dog-friendly and guests will be invited to showcase their pups in the bar.
“We’re going to allow people to bring photos or paintings or whatever of their dogs and plaster the whole wall,” Bennett said.
For updates, follow The Hound at thehoundavl.com and follow on Instagram @thehoundavl.
The cool riverside taproom with the awesome views and tacos now has bottles of brews to offer.
Zillicoah Beer Co. has debuted a new bottling line that produces 11.5 oz. “stubby bottles.” The first batch of craft beers down the conveyer belt was three pilsners, available as of March 11.
Pils is a North Germany-style pilsner described as a “soft pillowy pilsner malt” and made with Seitz Farms Perle and Hersbrucker hops.
Bo Pils is made in Czech-style made with floor-malted bohemian pilsner malt.
Rice Pils is a Japanese-style pilsner that was brewed with a heavy portion of rice and said to be “gently fruity with a bone dry finish.”
They are available as 6-packs for $14 each.
“We like pilsners,” Jeremy Chassner, co-founder, said in an email. “We’ve done some iteration of each of these beers in the past, and they’ve been stuck in our memory for quite a while now.”
Bo Pils is available on draft at the taproom, too. However, visitors will have to wait for the German and Rice Pils to get tapped in the upcoming weeks, he said.
Another new release is the Helles, available on draft and in 16 oz. cans.
“Our brewery is very rotational,” Chassner said. “We never set out to have a flagship beer, but the natural course of things kind of morphed Kellerpils and Helles into our ‘flagship beers,’ if you will. We’ll bottle both of those here and there, but our greater plan is to have a wide array of interesting beers available for people to take home and share with friends.”
Installing their own bottling line will give the brewers the freedom and flexibility to bottle what they want when they want and in the amount they want, he said. Prices may vary depending on the style.
“Our plan has never been to get deep into distribution. There’s a beauty in drinking beers amongst the tanks it came from, at the bar next to employees who put their hard work and love into it,” Chassner said. “We feel that visiting our 4-acre riverfront property adds to the experience of drinking our beer and we really want to continue to build upon that interactive relationship with our customers. We will always push for people to come here and hang with us. Having said that, we will be able to provide a bit more product to some hand-picked restaurants and bottle shops around town that we really like, and haven’t had the inventory, historically, to supply.”
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In October 2017, Zillicoah opened at 870 Riverside Dr. Drive in Woodfin, overlooking the French Broad River. It was founded by Chassner, Jonathan Chassner and John Parks.
Zillicoah offers an indoor taproom, a covered patio and a sprawling lawn with plenty of space for bench seating, frolicking and the occasional bonfire. Also, it’s the home base for the resident food truck, Taqueria Muñoz.
The business is bouncing back after the COVID-19 pandemic and on track for a “very intentional growth,” Jeremy Chassner said. Soon, the facility will have two new horizontal lagering tanks that will allow for the brewers to keep the to-go beer fridge and cooler stocked 12 taps flowing.
Other enhancements and beautification projects are in the planning stage for the taproom and property, too.
“Rest assured, we’ve got an endless list of ideas for improvements, and our hope is that the experience here will only get better and more comfortable over the years,” he said.
For more about Zillicoah Beer Co., visit zillicoahbeer.com and follow on Instagram @zillicoahbeer.
Tiana Kennell is the food and dining reporter for the Asheville Citizen Times, part of the USA Today Network. Email her at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow her on Twitter/Instagram @PrincessOfPage. Please help support this type of journalism with a subscription to the Citizen Times.
This article originally appeared on Asheville Citizen Times: Asheville bus station reopening as bar, brewery released bottles beer