It was 2010, and the bar where I worked in Black Mountain was closing. The hardest part about it was not that I was losing a job; it was that I was losing my community gathering spot. My belief is that, above all else, community is what gives humans a sense of belonging and well-being, which leads to a solid sense of self. Community is what makes us whole. An important concept in urban design is what is known as the “Third Place.” Healthy communities are composed of First, Second, and Third Places. The First Place is your home — where you lay your head at night. The Second Place is your workplace — where you do the things you do. And the Third Place is where you form connections with others — where you can express your dreams, your thoughts, and your ideas with like-minded people. It is an anchoring spot for the community. For communities to be strong and healthy, the Third Place is vital.
Third Places are where people go because they know they will feel a sense of connection. In 2010, I was losing my Third Place. And I said to myself, “Well, if my community is losing a gathering place, I’m going to bring it back.” The Black Mountain Ale House opened on Feb 4, 2011. It was a bar built around community.
That community remains at the forefront. We have continued to grow around it, literally and figuratively, bringing in a larger kitchen and introducing a stronger variety of food offerings. Now renamed Black Mountain Kitchen + Ale House, we are a restaurant and bar — built around community.
The key ingredient to the menu is the table; not necessarily what’s on the plate. That’s why “kitchen” is such a fundamental word. The kitchen is the place that produces food to feed the body and delight the senses. The company is the reason for the kitchen in the first place.
Our guiding philosophy remains the same as it was back in February 2011: to provide a sense of community and belonging to every person who walks through the door. Some of the most meaningful life experiences happen in a conversation over a pint of beer or around a table breaking bread with others. Whether you’re having a beer with a friend or celebrating a special experience, or you’re here by yourself just to sit at the bar and be part of a community, we want you to feel like you’ve found your Third Place.