Miss Louise’s? Then pop on up to Foothills

Fred McCormick
Black Mountain News
A long line of people hungry for lunch works its way into Louise's Kitchen last week.

Anyone who has driven by the corner of Vance and Black Mountain avenues between 7:30 a.m.-2 p.m. has seen the lines for Louise’s Kitchen. When the weather's nice and tourists are plentiful, a line of people can often be seen extending from the front door of one of the oldest buildings in town to the street below.

Local customers know that the popular brunch spot, which offers indoor and outdoor seating, goes into a brief hibernation every winter. This year, however, will be different, thanks to a collaboration between Louise’s and its new neighbor, Foothills Meats'  Butcher Bar & Kitchen Black Mountain.

From Jan. 3-21 when they would typically be on their annual winter break, staff from Louise’s will pop up a few doors down at Foothills to serve some of their restaurant’s favorite dishes.

The Ode to Louise’s Kitchen Pop-Up Event will take place Jan. 3-21 from 7:30-11 a.m., Mondays-Saturdays and 10 a.m.-2 p.m. on Sundays. It’s a partnership between two businesses with deep roots in Black Mountain.

Foothills Meats opened the Butcher Bar & Kitchen Black Mountain at 107 Black Mountain Ave.  on Nov. 17, but the company has deep roots in the area.

“We started selling produce from our farm under the Foothills name over in the grassy lot beside SunTrust Bank in 2002,” said owner Casey McKissick. “Black Mountain has been our home base for quite some time.”

Louise’s Kitchen began doing business out of the historic Stepp House in 2011, according to owner Bud Rainey, who has closed the business for several weeks each January since.

“It’s a chance to take a break and do a little renovation on the building,” Rainey said. “It’s a 100-year-old house, so there’s always some painting or scraping or something to do.”

Rainey and McKissick have known each other for years prior to becoming neighboring business owners.

“We were super excited at Louise’s when we heard that Foothills would be opening a place nearby,” Rainey said. “We’re stoked to see all the growth happening on Black Mountain Avenue.”

A conversation between Rainey and Mckissick, who said he frequently eats breakfast at Louise’s, led to an idea for a collaboration between the two restaurants.

“We were talking about how they usually close down in January,” McKissick said. “With us having just opened, we’d like to be available as much as possible, and we thought this could be a cool way to make sure people can get their Louise’s in the mornings even when the restaurant itself is closed.”

During the pop-up event this month, Louise’s staff, dressed in their customary T-shirts with the restaurant’s name spelled out in cursive, are at the butcher bar each morning to serve some of their restaurant’s most popular items.

“It will basically be the same as normal for the Louise’s employees who work at the pop-up during that time,” McKissick said. “People will be able to get their normal breakfast from Louise’s from the normal servers.”

Foothills will offer its own breakfast specials during the event as well, according to McKissick. “We’ll be using the bacon and sausage that we make here in Louise’s recipes,” he said.

The timing of the pop-up coincides with this year’s break for Louise’s, which will reopen on Jan. 22, according to Rainey.

“Some of our staff are really happy to have the opportunity to work this year during the break,” Rainey said. “And having a Louise’s pop-up just a couple of doors down at a great place like Foothills is really fun.”