Black Mountain

January 8, 2011

Before I was born, approximately twenty five years ago, my grandfather sold his house in Hollywood Hills, California and set out on a trek to find where he would settle for the rest of his life.  At the time, he wasn’t sure where he was heading or where he would end up but a few weeks later he happened upon Black Mountain, North Carolina. About 20-30 minutes East of Asheville, Black Mountain sits directly south of Pisgah National Forest right off of Interstate 40.  Here he ended up buying a small store on Cherry Street and a house with amazing property on Padgettown Road.

From the beginning, my brother, my sister, and I called my grandfather “Grandpa Arch”.  His real name is Harold Joseph Archambault but most everyone knew him simply as Arch, hence Grandpa Arch.  He was a very friendly guy if he liked you but he could come off as very cold if you didn’t know him.  He did things his own way and that’s what I love about him.  He wasn’t worried about others and he led a very simple and peaceful life.  His only employees at Arch’s Ice Cream & Antiques were my brother, my sister, and I during the occasional summer visit.  He would open the store when he felt like wandering in and he would close when he was ready to close for the day.  Typically he’d get in really early in the morning and have coffee and smoke half a pack before the first customer even stepped in.  The store was never open past 6pm; often he would close it around noon to 2pm.

One visit about seven or eight years ago I was hanging out at the store chatting with Arch.  I was sitting on a bar stool while he was working behind the counter.  It was a slow day, not too much going on but people would occasionally wonder through.  A lady and her husband walked in and started looking at the antiques, such the way that most people would do.  She eventually ordered a milkshake and tried to small talk with Arch but if he wasn’t in the mood to talk to you, then he just simply wasn’t in the mood to talk to you.  He didn’t invite conversation and she got the point.  Upon getting her milkshake she disapprovingly asked for him to make it thicker, to which my grandpa responded, “McDonald’s will make it just the way you want, this is how I make it hun,” and he turned to me and picked up the conversation right where we had left off.  No I’m sorry, no pleasantries, just simply “take it or leave it”.

The store on the right was Arch’s Ice Cream & Antiques.  It is now being turned into a craft shop by the new owners and is set to open very soon.

Cherry Street.  My Father’s Pizza just out of view to the right and Arch’s store is down the street on the left.


My Father’s

My Father’s Pizza & Pasta was started by one of Arch’s best friends in 1990, about the same time that he started Arch’s Ice Cream & Antiques.  It was sold in June 2010 but has remained in their family!

A History of My Father’s Pizza

‘Big’ Larry Robinson and his son Larry, founder of My Father’s Pizza, throwing a pizza crust in 1990. This is how Dad does it.Larry and Donna Robinson opened My Father’s Pizza in June of 1990, a family business that has become a tradition for visitors and year-round residents alike. My Father’s Pizza started as a mostly carry out and delivery restaurant with just a couple of chairs for folks who wanted to dine in. Business grew quickly as word of the high-quality ingredients and friendly staff spread. After adding a few tables and expanding the menu slightly, they realized a bigger space was needed. In 1995, My Father’s Pizza moved up Cherry Street to its current location, quadrupling the seating and increasing the kitchen space ten times. The addition of patio seating added a desirable three season seating option.

In July of 2010, Aaron Mathews and Micki Cowan bought My Father’s Pizza from Larry and Donna, effectively keeping the restaurant ‘in the family’ as a tried and true Black Mountain tradition. Aaron and Micki, with their over 28 years of combined service to My Father’s Pizza, will always strive to maintain the same high standards of quality for both service and food preparation that Larry and Donna Robinson put in place when they opened the doors to My Father’s back in 1990.

Our goal is simple: provide excellent quality and friendly service to our friends, neighbors, and visitors to the area. Your comments, compliments, and criticisms are encouraged. Thank you for being our guest!

-The Staff at My Father’s Pizza


Arch’s Place



January 7, 2011

Right now I’m sitting in a small coffee shop in Black Mountain, North Carolina called Dripolator.  Black Mountain is an old antique type of town outside of Asheville and to my knowledge this is the only coffee shop in town.  If not the only one, then I suspect it is the town favorite.  In the hour and a half that I’ve been sitting in here relaxing, sipping my Cafe Mocha and using the internet, I’ve seen at least five random encounters where locals know each other and end up chatting.  In fact, I even ran into someone I know which is a very wow-it’s-a-small-world moment because I’ve only spent about a total of two weeks here in the last five years.  A good friend of my grandpa’s who helped us out a lot when he passed away has been sitting next to me for about the past 45 minutes.  At first I didn’t think anything of him but I finally realized that he looked familiar so I bluntly asked him if he knew my grandpa and sure enough it’s him.  CRAZY!

Anyway, Dripolator is a nice coffee shop in Black Mountain worth mentioning.  I needed a little alone time away from the family so I took a walk this morning and ended up here.

The Dripolator
221 W State St.
Black Mountain, NC 28711
(828) 669-0999

Update 1/9/2011:

I didn’t think to look the place up on Yelp when I did the original post but I was just using Yelp for something else and thought about looking up the coffee shop.  Here’s a photo that someone posted on Yelp that I think is really cool..