quirky birds

Bartender Rob Ramsey pours a drink at Quirky Birds Treehouse & Bistro in Dillsboro. The restaurant boasts a full bar, a patio and live music.

The kitchen is shared with Front Street Takeout next door. Customers can enjoy favorites from Front Street to go or dine with their favorite drinks or spirits.

By Dave Russell


Acupuncture, more food options, mattresses and furniture, and an eclectic collection of old and new come to the area as new businesses open up in Sylva and Dillsboro.

Dillsboro’s Front Street Takeout has a big sister in the form of Quirky Birds Treehouse & Bistro, a new bar and dining room right next door to its 150 Front St. location.

The two ventures share a kitchen, owner Marybeth Druzbick said.

“Quirky Birds was the original vision we had when we signed our lease, a sit-down bistro with a full bar and a patio,” she said. “And then COVID hit and takeout was about all we could do.”

Front Street Takeout business has been really good and will continue, she said. 

“If you want food to go, you can get it to go,” she said. “If you want to sit down with a beer you can.”

The restaurant also offers wine and spirits.

Front Street won the spring Sylva Art and Design Committee Sandwich Competition, and the breaded chicken breast sandwich is still on the menu.

Much of the menu came from Soul Infusion, a former eatery on East Main Street, which was known for its chicken casserole wrap.

“But we have discovered we sell a lot of our Cobb salads,” Druzbick said.

Druzbick co-owns and operates the venues with Eric Mintz.

“We’re not fast food,” she said. “We’re good food.”

If staffing allows, they will try to open Sundays from noon until 9 p.m., she said. Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday hours are 11 a.m. until 9 p.m. and Thursday, Friday and Saturday, 11 a.m. until 11 p.m.


Just a stone’s throw west, Maddie’s on Main opened Saturday at 73 Webster St., the site of the former Country Traditions. The storefront was made famous in “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri” as the tourist trinket shop where main character Mildred worked.

The “Maddie’s” part of the name comes from owner Tammy Henry’s grandmother, and the “On Main” comes from the first Maddie’s, located on Main Street in downtown Canton.

“We feel like Front Street is like Dillsboro’s Main Street so we just kept our name the same, “ she said. “Saturday was our grand opening.”

Vendors rent space from Henry to sell their wares.

“In Canton we have booths, and in Dillsboro we just have all put our stuff together,” Henry said. “We have handmade, new, antiques, vintage. We also have homemade canned foods from a commercial kitchen.”

About 15 vendors have an eclectic array of goods on the floor, she said.

“People love the homemade corn relish and homemade pork skins, and we have a collection of antique toy cars,” she said.

Hours are 11 a.m. until 6 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday.


Jame Restaurant, 646 W. Main St. in the space that formerly housed Table, opened in early July.

The eatery offers $3 off wine pours every Monday. There is also a selection of beers, but no full bar service.

The restaurant is the brainchild of Don Panicko of White Moon. He wants the restaurant to have “a clean and lighter satisfaction of foods, with dishes from Israel, Turkey, Lebanon – Mediterranean food.”

The chicken shawarma might be the most popular dish, said David Yokeley, a cook at Jame.

Shawarma is marinated chicken served with pita bread that diners spread with a spicy yogurt sauce and make a wrap.

Jame can be found on Facebook.

Hours are 5-10 p.m. Monday through Saturday.


The former Belk/Peebles building at 670 W. Main St. soon opens as a Sleep USA Mattress store.

Co-owner Terry Utt will move from the current location behind Zaxby’s at 334 E. Main St. #B, into the refurbished space sometime around Nov. 1, he said. 

Downtown Sylva itself played a major role in the decision to move.

“I’ve always just loved the revitalization of old downtown areas and being able to bring life back to those, and Sylva has done such a great job with that,” Utt said. “When this opportunity came up, it just seemed like a perfect fit for what we’re wanting there.”

There is some work to do before opening.

“We’re doing some renovations, just trying to get the building back to the original look on the inside,” he said. “We took out some back walls and exposed these beautiful windows in the very back that no one knew were there.”

Utt plans to “sprinkle in” some furniture from Eller & Owens, a furniture store with locations in Franklin, Hayesville, Murphy and Cleveland, Tennessee.

“We’re not a nationwide chain,” he said. “We’re pretty much local folks, primarily from Hayesville,” he said. “We warehouse everything out of our Franklin store and offer delivery. We have several delivery options. It’s free delivery to your front door and about $39 for setup inside the house.” 

That includes hauling away old mattresses.

Business hours have not been decided, he said.

Sleep USA can be found at www.sleepusamattress.com and on Facebook.


One of Sylva’s downtown iconic storefronts, the former Jones Country Store, soon hosts a very different business when Tony Grimes opens Access Acupuncture.

Acupuncture involves pricking tissue or skin with needles. It originated in ancient China, but is now widely practiced all over the world.

“The most common thing that people come in for is muscular/skeletal complaints,” Grimes said. “That could be simple back pain, tennis elbow, sciatica, even herniated disks. People also come in for what you might call more internal complaints, like insomnia, general stress management, headaches.”

Herbal medicine and cupping would be part of his practice as well.

Grimes currently has a clinic in Asheville, but is moving his operation and his household to Jackson County.

Appointments are not required and walk-ins will be accommodated.

Originally from eastern North Carolina, Grimes earned a master’s degree in Chinese medicine from Daoist Traditions in Asheville, a four-year curriculum.

He hopes to hire an office manager and eventually a second acupuncturist, he said.

Hours are undecided, and he hopes to open by Oct. 1. A website is in the works, he said.