Lily’s Snack Bar brings safe and inclusive bar atmosphere


Lynette Files

Senior Studio Art major Kelsey Ramsue enjoys some wings and potato wedges at Lily’s Snack Bar. The new restaurant is located across from Durham Park on Hardin Street.

Christine Dudley, A&C Reporter

Packed with various arcade games, vintage posters and a jukebox that plays oldies, Boone’s newest snack bar brings a funky spirit to the local bar scene.

The Cardinal’s owners Seth Sullivan, Chris Varipapa, Scott Williford and chef Charlie Chakales bought 455 Blowing Rock Road in March and opened Lily’s Snack Bar July 28. 

Lily’s is named after Williford’s grandmother and Chakales’ great grandmother. The owners chose a multi-colored, bubble-letter font for the sign to make the bar more enticing.

“In a college town, obviously you have all walks of people, and so it felt like the name, Lily’s, made it more approachable,” Chakales said. 

Sullivan said the philosophy behind Lily’s Snack Bar is simple: a safe place to get “dank” sandwiches, snacks and drinks.

Lily’s founders considered opening a snack bar in Boone for a couple of years and were inspired by Snack Bar in Hickory and Pat’s Snack Bar in Morganton.

“We all really love the phrase ‘snack bar,’ because it is a bar, and it serves all kinds of snacks,” Sullivan said. 

Lily’s menu includes fried cauliflower, potato wedges, gyros and po’boys. Most items have vegan, vegetarian and gluten-free options. 

Most of the menu is under $10. After 10 p.m., bar entry is limited to 21 and up.

We’re working with Alcohol Law Enforcement and have had training on (underage drinking),” Chakales said. “We will crack down on fake IDs.”

Sullivan said Lily’s has a zero tolerance policy for misogyny, racism, homophobia and sexism.

“We’re really committed to an open and safe environment for everybody,” Sullivan said. 

Sullivan said the philosophy behind Lily’s Snack Bar is simple: a safe place to get “dank” sandwiches, snacks and drinks.

OASIS trained Lily’s bartenders on how to spot signs of sexual harassment and how to deescalate situations.

“We found that (a safe space) was something that seemed to be lacking in the Boone nightlife scene,” Chakales said.

Sullivan said the team plans to work with the Red Flag Campaign on App State’s campus next month. 

The location of Lily’s has seen a range of restaurants in the recent past, including Gaijin Noodle Bar, which opened in August 2017. It changed its face to Coop’s Chicken in October 2018 and closed in January. 

Sullivan said he isn’t worried about the location turnover because the staff will focus on working hard and not letting other restaurants distract them.

 As for competition with their neighbor, TApp Room, Chakales said both businesses could benefit from people bar hopping between the two.

“If the food is good and the drinks are good and the vibe is good, then people are going to come,” Sullivan said.