Blue Ridge Country - November/December 2016 - 54

Asheville's Moose Cafe rarely has an empty table, owing perhaps in equal parts to farmhouse fare and the atmosphere that is a sort of shrine to the genius of the Appalachian
people in preserving the goodness of the garden.
FRED SaucEman

We had seen the Stoney Knob Café sign
on Interstate 26 in Weaverville,
North Carolina, dozens of times,
passing it as we traversed one of the
most beautiful highways in America.
But we had never stopped. Usually,
our eyes were on Asheville or Greenville, South Carolina, or the beach.
Come to find out, we were bypassing one of the finest restaurants in the Southern Appalachian
region. After our Facebook post
from that first visit in the summer
of 2016, the comments poured
forth. Many friends told us it was
their favorite restaurant.
We operate under the maxim
that food tastes better when you
know its history. Stoney Knob Café
has a rich past. Now in his late 80s,
Gus Dermas, the original owner,
still comes to work every day alongside his two sons, John and Yotty.
54 BlueRidgeCountry.com

Gus left his native Greece in
1947 for New York City, to work in
the hotel and restaurant industry.
He peddled flowers on Manhattan street corners with his father
to learn English. After serving with
the United States Army during the
Korean Conflict, he found a home
in Greensboro, North Carolina, and
opened up a restaurant with his
brother-in-law.
It was the era of segregation,
when African Americans were being
turned away from lunch counters
because of the color of their skin.
While the Greensboro Woolworth's
was making worldwide headlines
for denying service to a group of
African American students from
North Carolina A&T University,
Gus Dermas was welcoming African
Americans to his Greensboro diner.
As Gus once said, "We're all hu-

man beings, and everyone deserves
a good meal." That story continues
to be a source of Dermas family
pride to this day.
When a friend told Gus about
a building up for sale in Weaverville, North Carolina, he moved to
the mountains. The area reminded
him of the place where he was
born in Greece.
"He fell in love with the mountains," says John.
The Stoney Knob Café opened in
1962, and it has been in the same
spot ever since. John describes the
original restaurant as a "meat-andthree," serving such Southern staples as liver and onions, hamburger
steaks, meatloaf and fried chicken.
Gus cooked up three meals a day,
with his wife Minnie as a full partner in the enterprise. She, too, was
Greek, her name an Americanized


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Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Blue Ridge Country - November/December 2016

Contents
Blue Ridge Country - November/December 2016 - Intro
Blue Ridge Country - November/December 2016 - Cover1
Blue Ridge Country - November/December 2016 - Cover2
Blue Ridge Country - November/December 2016 - 3
Blue Ridge Country - November/December 2016 - Contents
Blue Ridge Country - November/December 2016 - 5
Blue Ridge Country - November/December 2016 - 6
Blue Ridge Country - November/December 2016 - 7
Blue Ridge Country - November/December 2016 - 8
Blue Ridge Country - November/December 2016 - 9
Blue Ridge Country - November/December 2016 - 10
Blue Ridge Country - November/December 2016 - 11
Blue Ridge Country - November/December 2016 - 12
Blue Ridge Country - November/December 2016 - 13
Blue Ridge Country - November/December 2016 - 14
Blue Ridge Country - November/December 2016 - 15
Blue Ridge Country - November/December 2016 - 16
Blue Ridge Country - November/December 2016 - 17
Blue Ridge Country - November/December 2016 - 18
Blue Ridge Country - November/December 2016 - 19
Blue Ridge Country - November/December 2016 - 20
Blue Ridge Country - November/December 2016 - 21
Blue Ridge Country - November/December 2016 - 22
Blue Ridge Country - November/December 2016 - 23
Blue Ridge Country - November/December 2016 - 24
Blue Ridge Country - November/December 2016 - 25
Blue Ridge Country - November/December 2016 - 26
Blue Ridge Country - November/December 2016 - 27
Blue Ridge Country - November/December 2016 - 28
Blue Ridge Country - November/December 2016 - 29
Blue Ridge Country - November/December 2016 - 30
Blue Ridge Country - November/December 2016 - 31
Blue Ridge Country - November/December 2016 - 32
Blue Ridge Country - November/December 2016 - 33
Blue Ridge Country - November/December 2016 - 34
Blue Ridge Country - November/December 2016 - 35
Blue Ridge Country - November/December 2016 - 36
Blue Ridge Country - November/December 2016 - 37
Blue Ridge Country - November/December 2016 - 38
Blue Ridge Country - November/December 2016 - 39
Blue Ridge Country - November/December 2016 - 40
Blue Ridge Country - November/December 2016 - 41
Blue Ridge Country - November/December 2016 - 42
Blue Ridge Country - November/December 2016 - 43
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Blue Ridge Country - November/December 2016 - 45
Blue Ridge Country - November/December 2016 - 46
Blue Ridge Country - November/December 2016 - 47
Blue Ridge Country - November/December 2016 - 48
Blue Ridge Country - November/December 2016 - 49
Blue Ridge Country - November/December 2016 - 50
Blue Ridge Country - November/December 2016 - 51
Blue Ridge Country - November/December 2016 - 52
Blue Ridge Country - November/December 2016 - 53
Blue Ridge Country - November/December 2016 - 54
Blue Ridge Country - November/December 2016 - 55
Blue Ridge Country - November/December 2016 - 56
Blue Ridge Country - November/December 2016 - 57
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Blue Ridge Country - November/December 2016 - 63
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Blue Ridge Country - November/December 2016 - 65
Blue Ridge Country - November/December 2016 - 66
Blue Ridge Country - November/December 2016 - Cover3
Blue Ridge Country - November/December 2016 - Cover4
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