PBS NC films segment on The Purple Onion in Saluda

Published 11:22 am Monday, March 4, 2024

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SALUDA—On Thursday, a crew from PBS NC shot a segment at the Purple Onion in downtown Saluda for “North Carolina Weekend,” a weekly travel and tourism magazine show on the statewide PBS network.

“The Purple Onion is such a landmark in Saluda and western North Carolina so it’s a great fit for the show,” says PBS NC producer and writer Clay Johnson, a resident of Tryon. “It’s well known not only as a great restaurant but also a top-notch music venue that hosts a wide variety of musical acts.”

Johnson and local videographer Erik Olsen interviewed Purple Onion co-owner and operations manager Emily Lamar, co-owner and executive chef Chambli Stuber and customers Scott and Barbara Cardais. They got footage of some of Purple Onion’s signature dishes and the band “Wilder Flower,” a trio that played at the restaurant Thursday night. 

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“This is super exciting for us,” says Lamar. “Being featured as the Purple Onion but also being a restaurant in this town is important because it brings people to our little town so people can see how amazing this place is.”

Lamar’s mother Susan and her sister, Lynn Casey, opened The Purple Onion in 1998 and Emily and Stuber took it over in 2020. It features a variety of ethnically inspired dishes with an emphasis on Mediterranean cuisine using mostly local and organic ingredients. There’s indoor and outdoor dining and live music on Thursdays and Saturdays. 

“North Carolina Weekend” premiers Thursday nights at 9 p.m. on PBS NC and repeats Friday at 5 p.m., Saturday at 10 a.m., and the following Tuesday at 7:30 p.m. The show is also available for on-demand streaming on the North Carolina Weekend website, YouTube channel and Facebook page. 

The show featuring The Purple Onion is scheduled to premiere on April 18.