The Ruby Slipper holds soft opening Sept. 12

Published 6:34 pm Wednesday, September 11, 2013

A curiosity has built in Tryon as renovations to the St. Luke’s Plaza have not only transformed that building but also refreshed the look of a significant section of downtown Tryon. On Thursday, Sept. 12 interested people will discover what is set to fill the space as the Ruby Slipper holds its soft opening.

For owner Melanie Archer there’s no place like home, especially since Archer found her new home in Tryon three years ago.

“I came here and met all of these friendly people, so I want to be a part of this community,” Archer said of Tryon and her new endeavor. “I plan for this to be the rest of my life.”

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The one thing Archer said she didn’t discover when she moved here was the kind of dining experience she craved.

“[The Ruby Slipper] is all about presentation,” Archer said. “It’s going to be an experience to come here … the ambience, the food we serve you – everything will be about the experience.”

The light-fare restaurant, gelato shop and wine bar will hold a soft opening Thursday, Sept. 12 at 5 p.m. The Ruby Slipper will be open limited hours from 5-11 p.m. this Thursday and Friday, Sept. 13, but expects to be open for lunch and dinner.

Archer in fact chose the name of her restaurant based on her favorite song, “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” from the Wizard of Oz.

“It’s just such a beautiful song to me and it fits the dream I have for this place,” Archer said.

In the Wizard of Oz Dorothy clicks her heals to make her way home. Archer wants people to feel at home at the Ruby Slipper. She’s arranged cozy couches and plush chairs near a hand-built rounded bar where she hopes guests will easily connect.

“I want people to meet their neighbors here,” Archer said. “I want it to be a real comfortable, friendly place for Tryon.”

Angelo Keith, brother of Chef Alan Keith, crafted the bar and all the woodworked shelving throughout the space. He also installed a quirky chandelier with hand-blown glass sconces to light the room.

Filling the atmosphere Thursday night will be the piano tinkering of Dean Trakas, who designed the renovations of the building. On a regular basis, Archer said the player piano would be available for anyone wishing to take a turn on the keys.

While guests bask in the creative look and feel of the restaurant, Archer wants them to delight in the menu as well.

There are no heavy plates of food here. The Ruby Slipper aims to entice cravings through bold ingredients and flavorful combinations.