Bald Guy finds its niche in the kitchen


Austin Hale


Bald Guy Brew Cafe has been serving coffee to the students of Appalachian State and the Boone community for 10 years.

When asked what brings people to Bald Guy, co-owner Peter Herbert said the main draw is the breezeway. Some students, such as junior marketing major Jason Pollock, said they have never even set foot in the building.

“Espresso News is so entrenched in the culture of Boone with the bookstore,” Herbert said. “Local Lion has their own crowd of the people who live on Faculty Street.”

Pollock is an ENews fan. “It’s walking distance from me,” he said, sipping a cup of hot tea in the coffee shop’s small downstairs lounge. Mostly, he cites the coffee shop’s environment, such as their art loft, as the major attraction.

That’s not to say Bald Guy doesn’t have its own loyal customers. Junior marketing major Leanna Ferguson said she prefers Bald Guy over ENews.

“I really like [Bald Guy’s] iced mochas and it’s close enough to campus where I can have a meeting with someone off campus,” Ferguson said. “My best friend and I come here a lot to work in between classes to get a different scenery.”

Ferguson said ENews is too small and crowded for her to use as a meeting place.

“I have to yell to talk to the person across from me,” she said.

In an effort to expand their niche and attract more students, founder Nikki Rezvani decided to install a kitchen. To handle the kitchen, she brought in Herbert, a long time friend of hers.

Herbert said the idea came from their mutual love breakfast places like Melanie’s and Boone Bagelry.

“We saw another opportunity for people to get breakfast and lunch,” Herbert said.

Bringing in a full kitchen also gives Bald Guy another opportunity to define themselves from ENews and Local Lion.

“By bringing food in there we’re doing something different, you can actually get a meal,” Herbert said.

At Local Lion and ENews, you can buy doughnuts and pastries to go with your coffee, but you can’t get, as Herbert said, “real food,” such as sandwiches and salads.

“I wanted to have specifically food we can get out quickly and food that can be taken to go,” Herbert said. He also wanted to include plenty of vegan and vegetarian options.

Ferguson said she hasn’t had anything from the kitchen yet, but she looks forward to trying what Herbert has to offer.

“I don’t expect it to be normal,” Ferguson said. “That doesn’t seem like their kind of flow here which is awesome.”

Looking forward, Herbert wants to expand the menu to include dinner options, but for now, he seems content with the fast options they have available.

“We really wanna be able to have [the students] call in and order something and have them able to take it to class,” Herbert said. “By the tame you get to your building, all you have is tin foil to throw away.”

Story by: Austin Hale, A&E Reporter