FOSCOE — The unmistakable red building formerly known as the Foscoe Country Store and Taylor’s Country Store is getting a new breath of life.
The once community staple, Foscoe Country Store, lovingly called “The Corner” by locals, shut down about five years ago. In an effort to bring back the spirit of the missed corner store, four High Country residents are working to bring business back to the building. Foscoe residents David Brewer and Katie Boyette and Over Yonder owners Andy and Megan Long have partnered together to give the store at 8937 NC 105 South another chance.
“We’re excited to see a place so beloved by the community get another chance, especially after being empty for five years,” Brewer said. “I’m ecstatic to to see it come back to life and to bring some not only great food, but some light back to that corner of the world.”
Brewer said he and his wife have lived in Foscoe for the last 12 years and became regular customers at “The Corner.” Brewer said they were “extremely saddened” when the store closed.
Experienced in the restaurant industry, Brewer said he couldn’t help but wonder if he could take over the store. One day, when sharing this ambition with Long, the two realized they had the same goal and got to work.
“We started putting our heads together on that and it’s been a long process and it’s not remotely over yet,” Brewer said. “It really at some point just turned the corner from being a pleasant ‘what if’ to a real possibility.”
Brewer said in the current stage, they are waiting for plans to be resubmitted to the county for approval. He said the interior is essentially gutted and the roof renovations are completed, but nothing else can be done to the building without a “stamp of approval” from the county.
“There are no definite timelines whatsoever,” Brewer said. “I’m sure I’m going to have to answer the question 1 million times this spring, ‘when do you think you will be open?’ The answer will always probably be ‘not soon enough.’”
While waiting to move forward with construction, the business partners involved the community to come up with a name for the new store. In a Facebook post that now has more than 750 likes, Brewer shared a survey for people to vote on six name options or offer new ones. Brewer said before making this post, they had narrowed their options down to Bacon Heights, Bottom Branch Eatery, Fox Cove Corner, The Holloway, Ramble River Cafe or Scout’s Corner. After the survey, they now they have hundreds to consider.
“You know the spot. Probably driven by it a thousand times. It’s out on Hwy 105 in Foscoe, at the corner of Church Road, right about where drivers coming from Boone get their first unmistakable glimpse of Grandfather Mountain’s profile,” Brewer said in the post on Facebook. “The business was for many years not only a place of convenience, but also an important community hub with deep family roots. The kind of place where the staff knew scores of regulars by name, as well as by what they ate. The gas pumps and tanks now long gone, its front doors chained and locked, the place has lately served primarily as a rally point for carpooling rock climbers, or as a cut-through for hasty Church Holler and Holloway Mountain drivers. For some five years, the corner has sat empty, a reminder of a time when things were a little more neighborly around here. That’s about to change.”
While many aspects of the store are still unplanned, Brewer said the goal upon opening will be to have breakfast and lunch. He said The Corner used to do a “brisk to-go business” for customers in the morning that is now missing from that part of the county. He said first and foremost, their goal is to have “really good grab-and-go” breakfast, coffee and lunch.
Brewer, a musician, DJ and talent promoter, said eventually he would like to have live music and dinners. Though he does not think they will return to The Corner’s classic Friday night fish fry, he said they hope to do something with the same family-like spirit.
“I’m a small town kid at heart,” Brewer said. “I’ve certainly got some notions about the role that a restaurant can plan in a community in terms of being more than just a hot meal. It’s a community resource. It’s a meeting spot. It’s the familial and community spirit ever present.”
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Thanks to modern technologies, you and more people are reading the Watauga Democrat than ever before. Freedom of the press is essential to preserving democracy: But a free press isn't free. It takes significant resources for Mountain Times Publications' 8 full-time journalists and editors to provide credible, fact-based and ethical journalism in the High Country. So, we are asking you to join our advertisers and print subscribers in supporting local journalism with your dollar. Your financial support will help sustain these services that you use to inform your decisions and engage with your community.
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