Bagels by night, smoothies by day
Boone Bagelry's new hours are 'bagelicious'
It's "bagelicious," and it's the perfect post-barhop stop: The Boone Bagelry.
Owners Tony and Donna Nicastro have transformed the King Street breakfast bistro into a new nighttime destination by adding hours from 11 p.m. to 3 a.m. on Fridays and Saturdays, effective immediately.
"A lot of people have asked us to be open at night," Donna Nicastro said. "Now we've decided to do it."
For Nicastro, it's another way to give back to the community that's been Boone Bagelry's home for 22 years.
"A lot of the kids are drinking downtown ... this way they get some food in their bodies instead of getting in the car and driving," she said, and besides, "I think hot food is a nice thing late at night."
Originally from Canada, Nicastro has found her niche in Boone, a town she calls "paradise."
Initially attracted to the High Country because her brother had property in Banner Elk, she's become a fixture and doesn't plan to leave.
"The people in Boone are incredible, friendly ... we live in the most beautiful part of the world," she said. "We really do."
With the same dough from her husband's family bagel company in New York, Boone Bagelry has made very few changes in its 22-year history.
A notable change happened about two years ago when Boone Bagelry went 100-percent green.
"We're trying to do better by the world," Nicastro said. "It actually cost us a lot of money. It's four times the money to go green, but we felt like it was the right thing to do."
Now, instead of Styrofoam, everything's recyclable. It's just one of the reasons the Boone community keeps coming back, she said. The biggest reason is, of course, the food.
"Bagels and breakfasts," she said. "You know, everybody can eat that. Bagels aren't just for breakfast. They're for sandwiches."
Anyone who's sampled the most popular item, the Bagelicious (fried egg, bacon, ham and melted cheese on a bagel for $3.99) or its sister food, the Tempehlicious (fried egg, tempeh and cheese on a bagel for $4.59), can testify.
And, purchases over $5 can be delivered, even during the new hours.
"So when kids are at their parties or whatever, they don't have to get in a car - we'll take it to them," she said, and there's no delivery fee.
"We just wanted to give a service," she said. "If you're somewhere and you're hungry, you can call and get food."
The late night hours started last Friday and have so far been a complete success, Nicastro said.
The Bagelry, located at 516 W. King St., employs 13 people and is open seven days a week.
Regular hours are Monday through Saturday from 6 a.m. to 5 p.m., Fridays and Saturdays from 11 p.m. to 3 a.m., and Sundays from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. For delivery or take out, call (828) 262-5585.
Smoothies the ticket at the Juice Joint
Elise Grosso and Laine Worrell, they're Boonies with initiative.
After spring break at Appalachian State University left them hankering for a smoothie, the pair took things into their own hands, literally.
"We were like, 'Man, there's no where to get a good smoothie,'" Grosso said. "We were kind of hung up on it ... we sat up many nights testing the perfect recipes."
From those late night creations, Juice Joint Smoothies emerged, a simple establishment with a simple motto and one product: Smoothies.
"'Keeping it fresh' is our motto ... there's really no other place to get smoothies," Grosso said.
A May graduate, Grosso fell in love with Boone, and the Joint gave her a reason to stay, at least "as long as the smoothie business is good."
The manager of Love This Earth, the store at the front of the shop, located in downtown Boone across from First Baptist Church, Grosso said the $5 smoothies are all about the ingredients.
"Most of our bases are yogurt and sherbert ... our fruits are fresh frozen fruits, all our juices are really good juices," she said. "We use nectar. We have lots of options. Berry Baloo is really good. They're just all so tasty. Lemon Squeezy is like raspberry frozen lemonade deliciousness."
Or, you can come up with your own flavor, like walk-in customer Daniel Girard, whose combination included pineapples, coconut juice, mangoes and strawberries.
"On a scale from one to horrible, it's delicious," he said.
Add-ins are also available for 50 cents, and, along with expected add-ins like whey protein, you can get your smoothie amped up with bee pollen (to pump up your immune system) or aloe vera (to keep you regular). Vegan options like soymilk are also available.
An aspiring art teacher, Worrell, who is still an ASU student, utilizes her love of art in the decor, which includes a dry-erase board counter for you to vent your creativity.
The cash-only shop is open from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. seven days a week and located at 362 W. King St. All smoothies are $5, tax included. Parking can be an issue before in the adjacent lot, so the Grosso and Worrell encourage patrons to utilize free downtown spaces. This week and next week, if you bring a brick, painted or otherwise, you get 50 cents off your smoothie.
Got restaurant news? E-mail editor Frank Ruggiero at (firstname.lastname@example.org) , snail mail Mountain Times Publications, Attn: Frank Ruggiero, 474 Industrial Park Drive, Boone, N.C. 28607, or call (828) 264-NEWS and ask for Frank.