Charlie Hodge, the craft cocktail genius behind Sovereign Remedies, one of Asheville’s best cocktail bars, tells me he plans to open a new commissary kitchen called Make Space next year.

The location is 943 Riverside Drive in Woodfin. That spot is just north of Hodge’s other bar, Ole Shakey’s.

Hodge says the commissary kitchen, as well as a “cocktail lab,” will offer greatly expanded kitchen space to experiment (a centrifuge is one item on Hodge’s shopping list) with new recipes for food and drinks, and then provide that food/drink at Sovereign Remedies and Ole Shakey’s.

Make Space will allow Sovereign Remedies the ability to start a catering business, Hodge says. It will also be home to an ice program (think Just Ice in Chicago, he says) that will provide cubed ice and other special ice for craft cocktails.

Hodge has some serious craft cocktail cred that dates back to his time at Portland’s Clyde Common, as well as his work in getting Chestnut restaurant’s drink program going and leading the bar at Bull & Beggar restaurant.

But while the craft cocktails have gained the most attention at Sovereign Remedies, the food program started by Hodge’s partner, Sunil Patel, has steadily gained notice. Over the past year, Chef Graham House has come aboard and elevated the bar’s food offerings even more. House has spent a decade developing his expertise at renowned restaurants around the world (Osteria Del Bouche in Lake Como, Italy; Redd in Yountville, California; 4th & Swift in Atlanta) and has developed a style that puts vegetables front and center even though he’s not a vegetarian chef. The new commissary kitchen at Make Space will give House even more room to operate.

“We’ve been at capacity almost since the moment we opened,” Hodge says, noting that Sovereign Remedies has opened a little dining room and outdoor patio since opening in 2014.

“Now with Graham really killing it right now with the food, there was really no other choice but to do this,” Hodge says.

Hodge adds that he’s already looking to work with other restaurant/bar operators in town to allow them access to the space.

In the future, the location might open an eatery that’s open to the public, Hodge says. The location may also be home to a food truck or two.

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