Shelley D. Cooper, Executive Chef at Dancing Bear Appalachian Bistro, and Dustin Burnette, Manager at Dancing Bear Appalachian Bistro, are now overseeing the culinary team and operations at Apple Valley Cafe. Chef Shelley has been recreating the menu by using fresh ingredients and making more items from scratch. Some of the new items that recently rolled out include Spiced Apple Waffles, Shrimp & Grits, Chicken & Dumplings, and Smoky Mountain Gumbo. Customer favorites that Chef Shelley rolled out last spring such as the House Smoked BBQ and Chicken Salad are to remain on the menu. More menu updates are expected to be unveiled this spring.
“In addition to the classic cafe fares offered, the enhancements to the menu will continue to be very approachable,” confirms General Manager Dustin Burnette, “and we are improving on our World Famous Fried Apple Pies to make them even more delicious, if you can believe that!”
Residents of Townsend, as well as travelers, will be entertained most Saturdays with live music, which can be enjoyed from the new outdoor seating area.
Since 1993, The Apple Valley Country Stores & Cafe have been a popular stop for many travelers as they visit the Peaceful Side of The Great Smoky Mountains. Many have enjoyed a hearty meal in the Cafe while stopping to browse merchandise in the two retail stores in the same complex. For Townsend residents, the Apple Valley Cafe is a staple for breakfast and lunch, renowned for their Fried Apple Pies.
The Oldhams purchased the iconic Apple Valley complex in February of 2015, shortly after the groundbreaking for the Dancing Bear Appalachian Bistro, as part of their ambitious $10 million investment into the Townsend community. They announced plans to upgrade the property over a five-year span, with the Cafe renovations being a sizable part of the project.
The investment in the current renovations is expected to be $500,000 toward their initially announced goal. Apple Valley management believes that, “being consistent and living up to our goal of investing in Townsend for the long-term, the Smoky Mountain experience will be improved for all travelers to the Peaceful Side. The money invested is far less important than working to achieve our mission statement of ‘Creating Smoky Mountain memories worth repeating’.”
Travelers curious about the renovation can follow Apple Valley’s Facebook Page for photos and updates about the progress.
To learn even more, read the Maryville Times article!