Red Onion Café
Established in 1985 as one of the classic restaurants in Boone NC, the Red Onion Café opens daily at 11am and serves continuously to hungry guests well into the evening. The Red Onion Café has created its niche in the High Country for more than 30 years by offering customers a comfortable and welcoming atmosphere and an extensive menu at affordable prices. The café has something for every member of the family, including burgers, sandwiches, wraps, pizza, pasta, fish, steak and delicious homemade desserts. Look for weekly dinner specials and the kid’s menu items as well. The Red Onion Café also offers several of the region’s top beer and wines to compliment any meal as well as friendly staff on hand to assist with your choices from the extensive menu. The outside patio is perfect for a comfortable outdoor lunch or for a cozy dinner on warm evenings.
Sunday - Thursday: 11am - 9pm
Friday - Saturday: 11am - 10pm
Business Spotlight: After Three Decades in Boone, Red Onion Still Evolving With Renovations, Revamped Menu
by Jesse Wood
July 7, 2014. On the Fourth of July weekend, a visitor of Boone filled out a comment card after a dining experience at the Red Onion. This patron wrote, “I have been coming to Boone and driven by your place for years. Well, this will be the last time I just drive by. The food was awesome.”
Red Onion owner Danny Mauney recounted that story when asked what has been the most satisfying as a career restaurateur over the past 35 years in the business and 30 years as owner of Red Onion.
“A new customer who stops in and says, ‘I don’t know why I haven’t been coming here all along.’ That’s still as satisfying as anything,” Mauney said. “We are doing really good things here, have a great staff, a nice atmosphere and we’re reasonably priced. There is no reason why people should be driving by.”
While the Red Onion is celebrating its 30th anniversary this year, Mauney’s history in that particular location goes back about five years. In 1979, Mauney and some business partners opened a pizza parlor that became a popular college hangout, but Mauney began to notice that the establishment was “missing out” on the year-round business of locals and tourists.
“So we changed the concept and turned it into the Red Onion Café, and our menu and look have been evolving ever since,” Mauney said.
In fact, nearly everything to do with the restaurant has evolved over the years – and, in particular, most recently. This year, Mauney dropped the “café” in the restaurant’s name, so now the business is known simply as Red Onion. Mauney said the restaurant has evolved into “more than just a café” and besides nobody ever said all three words of the prior name.
In March, Red Onion closed for 10 days to undergo renovations and to redo the décor of the establishment. It now has a new booth and a separate yet beautiful “family table” made out of granite from Linville. New chairs and tables exist. Stonework underscores the bar and hostess podium near the entrance and compliments the timber frame patio and new timber frame sign that hangs alongside Hardin Street.
“If you stay open long enough, everything wears out,” Mauney said. “That’s a good thing I guess.”
In addition, the food and menu have changed a tad as well. Mauney said that the restaurant has evolved into one that features more in-house, prepared foods with more locally-sourced ingredients. The revamped menu now has about a dozen new listings with, in particular, the expansion of grilled and pasta dishes.
New menu items include Veggie Flatbread (toasted with vegetable tapenade, humus, goat cheese, fresh tomato and basil), a locally grown Boston Bibb Wedge Salad and Baby Kale Trio, Thai Chicken Pizza, Red Velvet Cheesecake and five ‘signature’ burgers named All the Way, BBQ Bacon Pub, Sunrise Farm, Greek Turkey and Spicy Veggie.
Even though the menu has changed somewhat, it still features some of Red Onion’s signature dishes like the Cajun Chicken Pasta, Florentine Wild Mushroom Lasagna, Tuscan Red Pepper Chicken entrée and the Low Country Salmon entrée.
Red Onion, which is a member of the Boone Independent Restaurants, is open for lunch and dinner seven days a week – from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Sunday through Thursday and 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday.
For more information, click to http://www.theredonioncafe.com/ or its Facebook page, which notes regularly occurring and date-specific specials. For example, a two-week old post notes that two kid’s meals are free with the purchase of one adult entrée on Wednesday nights.
Red Onion is located at 227 Hardin Street in Boone and can be reached at 828-264-5470.