The coming months will see at least five new beverage- or food-related businesses open in Sylva and Dillsboro.

Here’s what is coming:

Balsam Falls Brewing Company

Balsam Falls Brewing Co. is expected to open its doors on Main Street Sylva in mid-to-late August.

The brewery will offer a mix of ales and lagers. A small batch will be released each week.

Owners Corey and Laurie Bryson said they will occasionally add fruit, herbs and spices to their regular beers and they hope to add other fermented beverages later on.


A Hardee’s restaurant is taking the place of the former Arby’s restaurant near the intersection of Cope Creek Road and N.C. 107.

Innovation Brewing

Great Smoky Mountains Railroad recently announced that Innovation Brewing Company will be a new tenant in the GSMR Dillsboro Depot Complex.

Innovation’s current location has limited parking and inside space.

The brewery plans to keep its primary location at 414 West Main Street in Sylva, but will expand this fall into the sour- and barrel-aged production, as well as pilot a batch system at the complex, according to the news release.

There are plans for another tap room with more outdoor seating.

Mesquite Grill

Mesquite Grill, a Mexican restaurant taking the place of the former El Pacifico on N.C. 107, plans to open in September, acccording to the owner. The family-style restaurant will offer a patio seating area as well as live music about once a week, he said.

The Paper Mill Lounge and Theatre

The Paper Mill Lounge and Theatre opened at the end of June on Mill Street in Sylva. It’s located in The Winged Lion’s former building.

“We offer our members refreshing and affordable hand-crafted cocktails in a New Orleans type atmosphere,” owner Craig Day said. “It’s a unique space close to home in the heart of Sylva, but miles away in style.”

The Paper Mill is open from 6 p.m. – midnight on Thursday and 6 p.m. – 2 a.m. Friday and Saturday.


Why the sudden activity?

“Fortunately, we are experiencing a nationwide increase in entreprenuerialship and businesses willing to take a risk and open after the economic recession. I think nationwide that things are better, at least for the most part in most places. We are among those that are fortunate to be experiencing this trend.

“I also think that our EDC has worked diligently with entreprenuers to help them see the value of starting their business here in Jackson County. I think those are things now beginning to pay off. Sometimes you don’t see the work while the work is actually being done. You only see the end product.”

– Julie Spiro, Jackson County Chamber of Commerce director

“You’re seeing growth in the university community, which is going to continue to drive small business growth, certainly within Sylva and Dillsboro and throughout the county. Everyone has worked very, very hard to make their communities attractive for new small businesses.

“I think the success of one small business is sort of a catalyst for the success of another small business.

“Small businesses will continue to be the economic backbone of Jackson County. That’s how we’re going to grow jobs and create additional investment and make this county attractive for other businesses.”

– Rich Price, Jackson County economic development director


Heinzelmannchen Brewery closing

Heinzelmannchen Brewery on Mill Street in Sylva will close in mid-August.

Co-owners Sheryl and Deiter Rudd plan to go ahead today (Thursday) and shutter the taproom today.

“It’s a quality of life issue. Deiter and I would like to spend more time together,” Sheryl Rudd said. “We’ve done this for more than 13 years, and we’re ready to move on.”

She said the couple will work with another brewery, and she also wants to work with local businesses as a counselor.