Back Alley Barn set to open in Saluda

Published 11:40 am Monday, March 20, 2023

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Holmes family works together to open new tavern and event venue


SALUDA-Saluda residents will soon have a new watering hole and venue to host events.

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The Back Alley Barn is a tavern that carries bar fare, cocktails, liquor, beer and wine.


Husband and wife team Josh and Taylor Holmes of Rutherfordton own Ward’s Grill and the Back Alley Barn. Taylor Holmes’ sister-in-law, Lindsey Holmes, runs Thompson’s Store and Lola’s Celebration Venue. The businesses all share the same building at 24 E Main St in downtown Saluda. 

Thompson Store, North Carolina’s oldest grocery store, opened in 1890. Lola’s was established in 2019. 

The Back Alley Barn is its own standalone tavern and restaurant, but the facility will be able to be rented out for events through Lola’s.

“Lindsey and I decided working together would be beneficial for both businesses,” said Taylor Holmes. “She offers a venue package that offers a full bar (Back Alley Barn) to her guests, which in return brings new people to my venue.” 

Taylor Holmes had been in the restaurant business most of her life before moving to North Carolina from northern Florida, and combined with her husband Josh, the couple has over 30 years of experience in the field. Together the couple also reopened Ward’s Grill, which had been closed for two years due to the pandemic. Shortly after, the duo decided to open the Back Alley Barn to bring more entertainment options to Saluda. 

Lindsey Holmes wanted to do something of her own, so she began managing Thompson’s Store. Shortly after, she expanded her entrepreneurship to Lola’s Celebration Venue. 

“The Back Alley Barn will offer a fun environment with delicious food and drinks as well as a place to watch football games and listen to live music,” Taylor said. “Our businesses became a family affair and we hope to bring Saluda a few enjoyable places to eat, drink, shop and celebrate!”  

The Holmes plans to have The Back Alley Barn open and operational by the beginning of April.