As a young apprentice to his father, Carl Tayloe was expected to continue the family business as an electrical contractor in Birmingham. Much to his father’s chagrin, however, Tayloe’s heart wasn’t in it. He had been inspired by a Montgomery friend and his love for food to get training in the culinary arts.
After paying his dues as an under-appreciated salad prep lackey, Tayloe worked his way up through some of the finest restaurants in the Southeast.
By the time he and Janie Tayloe opened Que Sera in Black Mountain in 2007, Carl had had years of culinary experience working with great people.
He and Janie were hopeful that his Southern cuisine using local ingredients and fresh domestic seafood might find a following in the greater Swannanoa Valley.
Now, Que Sera has loyal customers and a strong reputation throughout the region.
This month, as the Tayloes wrap things up in their current location across from Black Mountain Primary School, they are preparing for Que Sera “2.0.”
They are moving to The Junction building across the tracks from the Black Mountain Depot. The Tayloes expect to move equipment during the second week of September and open in its new location - 101 Black Mountain Ave. - shortly after that.
“Our general contractor, Melzer Morgan (at Glade Construction), has created the dream kitchen,” Janie said. “His team also took some donated wormy chestnut and crafted a showplace counter top for the oyster bar. People are going to love the new space.”
The Junction’s new owners Jon and Lauri Brooks bought the building after learning of the Tayloes’ possible desire for a new restaurant location.
“We’re delighted to have the Tayloes as an anchor tenant,” said Jon Brooks, whose building has event space and private and shared office space on the second floor. “I actually think Que Sera is a destination restaurant for folks from Asheville and beyond. Our family has always enjoyed the quality of their food, and we think they will find The Junction to be a great new location with more room for their customers.”
“I have always thought it would be fun to have an oyster bar,” Carl said. “When I saw what Mike Latta did with The Ordinary (an oyster bar in Charleston, South Carolina), I thought that concept would be a fun addition for Black Mountain.”
The Tayloes will be opening Tayloe’s Oyster Bar adjacent to Que Sera in The Junction.
“We see it as a family friendly place for more casual dining,” Carl said.