By Darrell Metcalf
Weaverville – Blue Mountain Pizza and Brew Pub is a frequent destination for anyone in the Weaverville area and surrounding vicinity who’s craving a hot slice and a cold brew while enjoying the small-town charm that only Weaverville offers. Folks who live in or around Weaverville are familiar with the establishment. But in case you didn’t know and according to their website, “Blue Mountain Pizza offers homemade pizza, handmade ice cream, and a variety of craft beers brewed on-site.”
While the atmosphere and flavors remain the same, a change is coming at the general manager’s position. Long-time and well-known General Manager Mike Van Hoose will be leaving Blue Mountain to focus full time on his Woodfin-based brewery. His job is being filled by Chris Lafond, who is no stranger to Blue Mountain and its community-oriented culture.
Lafond isn’t exactly new at the General Manager position at Blue Mountain. He started at Blue Mountain in November 2007 as a cook and driver.
Eventually, he worked his way to the manager’s job in May of 2009 and held that job until June 2016. After returning to his home state of Minnesota for a short time, he returned to the area and to Blue Mountain Pizza in July 2018. He has been working as the Assistant Manager recently and will be taking over as the General Manager on April 1st. Chris feels a strong sense of “home” at the local pizzeria and talks about its family atmosphere, “Blue Mountain is a family. It’s not just the crew that’s family, it’s the community of Weaverville and the customer base. There’s a family feel.”
Van Hoose, who has been the general manager for approximately 15 years, said he and Joey Cagle started the brewery at Blue Mountain in 2012. In August of 2019, they opened Riverside Rhapsody Beer Company in Woodfin.
While initially being opened on weekends only and still working at Blue Mountain Pizza, Van Hoose has decided to make the move to working full-time at his newly opened brewery. After many years of service to Blue Mountain customers, his last day is March 28th. To kick off new hours at Riverside Rhapsody, they’ll be hosting a Spring Equinox Party on March 19th. Afterward, they’ll be open Tuesday through Sunday. The Equinox event will offer live music, ax throwing and food from Asheville Pro Kitchen. Riverside Rhapsody currently has 9 of its own beers on tap, in addition to cider and wine. The brewery can be found at 995 Riverside Drive in Woodfin.
For those who don’t know, Blue Mountain Pizza and Brew Pub is located at 55 N Main Street in Weaverville. They have live music every night of the week and a new-old general manager.
Editor’s Note: Blue Mountain is now only open for take-outs and deliveries and will be closing at 8 pm until further notice.