Bent Mountain Bistro officially opened on Wednesday night, much to the delight of Bent Mountain residents who couldn’t wait to have a restaurant in their neck of the woods.
The bistro is serving wood-fired pizzas (with a gluten-free crust option!), salads, sandwiches, and BBQ, with many of the ingredients coming from local purveyors, said Greg Aldridge, a spokesman for the restaurant. Aldridge said they had a word-of-mouth soft opening on Sunday night that was well-attended, and said the Wednesday crowd was also “great.”
The restaurant is located at 9607 Bent Mountain Road, in a building that used to house a Mexican restaurant. Aldridge said renovations to the building took 16 to 18 months because it had to be stripped to bare bones. It now has a new roof, new concrete floor, and a solid oak bar built by Home Touch Millwork, LLC of Roanoke. It also has interior trim made from American chestnut that was salvaged from an old barn.
Aldridge said a new brick oven was ordered from Italy and installed by Dewayne Powell, who makes pizzas for the restaurant and will also be in charge of a garden on the same property. The garden will be used to grow food for the restaurant menu.
The building and property are owned by Jim Woltz, who is leasing it to a group of individuals that partnered to start the restaurant. Aldridge did not identify the people behind the restaurant but said he is not one of them.
While renovations were taking place at the restaurant, the owners occasionally smoked BBQ in the parking lot and sold sandwiches to passers-by.
“It worked out great. People stopped to check it out,” Aldridge said. “It did give people something to talk about.”
For many months, the Bent Mountain Bistro Facebook page has been abuzz with people asking when the restaurant would open.
The current menu, which is posted on the Facebook page, includes 1/3-pound grass-fed beef burgers, a pit-cooked BBQ sandwich, six specialty pizzas, a create-your-own pizza, and homemade apple pie with Homestead Creamery ice cream. Aldridge said that’s just an opening menu — he expects it to expand soon.
The restaurant will be open Wednesday and Thursday, 5 to 10 p.m.; Friday and Saturday, 5 to 11 p.m.; and Sunday, 5 to 10 p.m. Aldridge said it will probably start opening for brunch on Saturdays and Sundays within the next month or so.