Every Monday we bring you the SL Hot List, a round up of the five latest and greatest things to hit the South. Consider it your weekly update on our region’s most buzzworthy food, culture, and style news.
1. Southern shopping. Designer Lauren Leonard’s modern line, Leona, can be found in boutiques all over the country, and now she’s opening her first flagship boutique in Nashville’s 12th South District. It’s a natural fit for the designer from Tuscaloosa, Alabama, who dreamed up her fall collection (filled with bright jewel tones and dresses with girly details) in her Music City studio. Visit the shop Thursday through Saturday and steal style secrets from Lauren herself during the grand opening festivities.
2. Florida chef’s big month. Chef John Rivers, of the Florida barbecue chain 4 Rivers Smokehouse, starts off his busy August by cooking in one of the most venerated kitchens in the country: the James Beard House in New York. On Thursday, he’ll prepare a dinner (using Florida-sourced ingredients like Palmetto Creek Farms’ pork) that includes an 18-hour-hickory-smoked angus brisket. Next up, John’s Texas-inspired barbecue restaurant 4 Rivers Smokehouse’s fifth location opens later this month in Gainesville. His new cookbook, Southern Cowboy, hits the shelves this fall.
3. Once-in-a-lifetime North Carolina experiences. You’ve got three days left to snap and upload your best photos of the Tar Heel State for a chance to win VisitNC.com’s NC-centric opportunities. Among the prizes: a dinner at the home of one of our favorite chefs, Ashley Christensen. She’ll be cooking, and Sean Lilly Wilson of Fullsteam Brewery will provide the beer pairings. (The winner also gets a stay at The Umstead Hotel & Spa.) Also up for grabs: wreck diving at the Queen Anne’s Revenge or a scenic rooftop dinner at The Biltmore and horseback ride on the grounds. To enter, check out visitnc.com.
4. Midsummer brewery openings. We loved the recent Fast Company map that showed the rise of craft beer in the South. Now there are even more dots on that map. Today North Carolina gets its 80th brewery with the grand opening of Crank Arm Brewing today in Raleigh. We can’t wait to try Holy Mole Smoke Porter, a darker beer inspired by Mexican mole sauce and made from habanero peppers and cocoa nibs from neighbor Videri Chocolate Factory. And just last week, Virginia’s Crooked Run Brewing tapped their inaugural kegs for the public. Located in the historic district in Leesburg, the brewery is pouring pints of two beers with seasonal offerings like a raspberry dark saison to follow.
5. Buddy Guy’s latest album. Chicago may claim the blues legend, but we’d like to think that being born in Lettsworth, Louisiana (not to mention starting his career with a band in Baton Rouge) shaped his soulful sound. Rhythm & Blues, Buddy’s latest album (his first since his 2010 Grammy Award-winning Living Proof) drops Tuesday and features his classic guitar playing joined by guests such as Aerosmith, Keith Urban, and Gary Clark, Jr. For a sneak preview, watch Buddy perform with the Roots on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon below.
5 1/2: Since we’re talking music, we must mention: This Sunday we’re hosting the ultimate Birmingham music showcase at the Southern Living Biscuits & Jam event at Avondale Brewing Company. Featuring St. Paul and The Broken Bones, Matthew Mayfield & The Blue Cut Robbery, Duquette Johnson, Jesse Payne, and Sea Fix, the event is just $10 in advance, $15 at the door. All the details here. See you there, right?