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WNC Business

The RailYard Makes Tracks to Black Mountain

Mar 30, 2023 01:44AM ● By WNC Business
ASHEVILLE – The RailYard Black Mountain, a new taproom, restaurant, and community gathering space nestled in the heart of Black Mountain, proudly announces a community-wide invitation to their grand opening party from 12:00 – 10:00 PM on Saturday, April 15. The event will feature 20 taps open for pouring, craft beverages, SmashBalls (The RailYard’s own burger concept), and live music from American roots band LazyBirds, playing on the outdoor stage. Families, kids, and dogs are all welcome to attend.

The RailYard is located at 141 Richardson Boulevard in Black Mountain, on 1.31 acres that previously sat vacant. The nearly 7,000-square-foot main building features a full kitchen, a taproom serving craft beverages and cocktails, a 70-foot bar – one of the longest in Buncombe County – and a 1,200-square-foot community space that will house curated pop-up events such as farmers’ markets, yoga classes, and private and corporate events. The innovative design attests to the collaborative vision of The RailYard: to serve as a hub for community connection, service opportunities, pop-up events, and local vendors.

The main building’s five giant garage doors open to an outdoor courtyard lined by an array of shipping containers, each of which will serve as the future home of select food trucks, local artisans, and vendors. The open-air space in the middle of The RailYard includes Adirondack chairs, ambient lighting and fire pits, picnic tables made from reclaimed wood, a 20-by-40-foot outdoor stage to host live music events, and stunning panoramic views of the Swannanoa Valley. The RailYard will also be the official home of PubCorps, a local nonprofit with the mission to strengthen our community by offering turn-key volunteer meetup events and a shared drink after volunteering. Beginning later this year, PubCorps will host their large-scale food packing events at The RailYard every month.

The RailYard Black Mountain is the vision of entrepreneur John Richardson, known locally for being the mover and shaker behind Black Mountain Pizza & Ale House, Black Mountain Brewing, Black Mountain Ale Trail brewery tours, SMOKE Food Truck, and PubCorps. Richardson grew up spending his summers in Montreat with his father, a Presbyterian minister, and attributes his love of Black Mountain and passion for community-building and service to those formative years. After working in nonprofit leadership and sales, Richardson ventured into food and beverage with the opening of Black Mountain Ale House in 2011. He then opened Black Mountain Brewing in 2018 with friend and business partner Matt Schwarz, and two years ago welcomed Gary Sernack as head of Brewing Operations. Richardson plans to continue working with Sernack on brewing operations, and recently named Pete Repak as the general manager of The RailYard, citing Repak’s passion for using food as a community connector.

 “People find warmth and security over shared food and shared experiences – and we channeled that sense of connection into The RailYard’s menu,” reflects Pete Repak. “We invite people to connect over delicious cuisine and captivating music, while building common ground through volunteering and community events. We’ll share the region’s best beer, amazing comfort food, and music and art steeped in these mountains. Come celebrate the beauty and community of Black Mountain with us!”

“Pete’s passion is connecting people through food, and that’s perfect for The RailYard vision,” says Richardson. “We see this space as an incubator – for community, for the nonprofit PubCorps, for local musicians and bands, and for local vendors, artisans, and food trucks. Black Mountain is bustling, with 14 new businesses opening here in the next 4-5 months. Growth is exciting, and I also want to make sure we’re creating spaces where people of all ages feel welcome and can connect in meaningful ways. We want to build in service opportunities, community activities, diversity, and live music from the very beginning.”

To learn more about The RailYard, contact Lizzy Markman at [email protected].

About The RailYard
Nestled in the heart of Black Mountain, The RailYard is a gathering space focused on building community and connecting people. The 1.31-acre space features a 7,000-square-foot main building that now holds a taproom serving craft beverages and cocktails, and a 70-foot bar – one of the longest in Buncombe County. In the future, the indoor area will also feature a community space that will house classes, a makers’ market with local vendors, and more. Outside, soon you’ll find food trucks, pop-up and private events, service opportunities, and live music on a huge outdoor stage. Shipping containers will be placed around the perimeter of the property, housing more food and beverage offerings and some exciting surprises. Founded by local community leaders, The RailYard is the home of PubCorps’ large-scale food packing events and exists to serve as a model for nurturing community connections, service, and diversity in Black Mountain, Western North Carolina, and beyond.

Photos courtesy of Lindsay Higgins Photography.