The Local brings new menu and nightlife to Howard Street


Char during its final weekend before changing to The Local, a restaurant and bar that will aim for an over 21 crowd on the weekends. Photo by Josh Kincaid | The Appalachian

Meredith Warfield

Next week will mark the grand opening of The Local, a new restaurant and bar on Howard Street that will take over Char’s current location under the same ownership.

The Local, which will open the first week of September, hopes to attract families, students and all Boone residents with their seasonal daytime menu and “casual yet sophisticated” atmosphere, said Kat Bundy, the restaurant’s public relations representative.

The evening bar will cover all nightlife necessities with an array of entertainment utilities including pool tables, 50-inch flatscreens, a lounge area and a stage.

“The Local will take the best of everything that makes up a bar,” said Bundy, who is a senior public relations student. “A lot of the scene in Boone keeps you going to a specific place for a specific atmosphere. The Local is going to be an all-purpose bar where everyone is welcome.”

Weekends after 10 p.m. will be reserved strictly for those 21 and up – a change from Char’s 18-and-up policy.

Between open mic nights, poetry slams, trivia and wing nights, The Local will provide multiple events and options for entertainment. Live music is already on the lineup for fall semester with possible bookings from bands including Spiritual Rez, Dr. Bacon and Melissa Reaves.

The bar can accommodate 18 beers on tap, with which The Local hopes to offer several North Carolina beers from breweries such as Wicked Weed from Asheville.

The Local’s celebrated chef from Miami will bring refreshing insight to the menu while keeping prices affordable.

“There will be nothing over $20,” Bundy said. “Weekly specials will reflect seasonal items, and Sunday brunch will remain available.”

Although Char had its own prominence in Boone’s nightlife, the owners look forward to a fresh start with The Local.

“This is the vision they had for the bar when they bought it,” Bundy said of The Local’s owners.

The owners also believe the new restaurant will appeal to Boone residents and students alike.

“The new place sounds really cool,” said Lindsey Hynes, a junior recreation management major. “It’s always exciting when new places open in Boone, and this place definitely seems like it might be my kind of scene.”

While Char remains open for the time being, changes to the restaurant decor have been carried in piece-by-piece overnight to ensure a quick and smooth transition. The new sign to be hung out front is being made from the last tree that was cut out of an old lumber mine off 421 before it closed and has been estimated to be about 200 years old, Bundy said.

“We’ve got some great cooks and a tight-knit wait staff,” said Alex Lee, a senior biology major and employee at The Local. “We’re all excited for the change.”

Story: Meredith Warfield, A&E Editor