After months of anticipation from locals looking forward to another reason to head to Emma Ave in Springdale, Black Apple Crossing finally welcomed its first guests yesterday (July 25). Word is that the state’s first cidery had a line of folks waiting at 11:00 a.m. when they opened for business. Leo Orpin, one of three partners behind the venture, was smiling ear-to-ear as we arrived around 5:30 p.m. He said they’d been busy all day, with only a slight lull in the mid-afternoon.
Three bartenders were pouring flights of the four ciders on tap non-stop, and single servings for anyone who chose a favorite. Windows behind the bar let lots of natural light into the small space, and the chatter of the customers was animated.
Joy Parker , owner of Cellar Door Antiques on Emma, took home the first growler of the day. She says it’s nice for downtown Springdale to have something unique like Black Apple Crossing. Certainly, other Springdale citizens will agree that attracting new people to the downtown area is a key step to improving the quality and quantity of businesses willing to locate there.
The Razorback Regional Greenway crosses Emma just down the street, so it’s a great place to stop for a cool break on your ride.
We ordered flights for everyone in our party and retreated outside to the patio. Traditional wood picnic tables dotted the patio, and while we were there some folks showed up with more tables for the interior and a few outdoor games for guests to enjoy.
The ciders on tap for opening day were Bellinni, Dry Guy, Spice of Life, and El Carino.
Spice of Life was served in glasses dipped in cinnamon sugar around the edge, like a margarita glass is crusted with salt. It put a little sweetness on the tongue and enhanced the cinnamon in the cider.
The Bellini was a sparkling cider with a hint of mango that sweetened it up. This was my favorite, but I prefer sweet over dry in all beverages.
Dry Guy and El Carino were both dry ciders; clean and easy to drink.
In addition to flights of four that were available for $8.00, single glasses are $4.50, and clear glass growlers are ready to fill and take home for $10.00. A special cobalt blue growler is also available for $25.00, and gets you a 10% discount on refills on Thursdays. Regular refills are $8.00.
Orpin says live music is coming, and they’ll be adding new ciders as they go, so keep an eye on the Crossing’s Facebook page or follow them on Twitter to keep up with expansions and additional info.
One suggestion: Because the patio is surrounded on three sides, it wasn’t able to catch a breeze, and was pretty stuffy. (Of course, it was 95 degrees…) A pergola for shade and some overhead fans would be a welcome addition in the heat of the summer.
Thursday & Friday – 5:00 – 9:00 p.m.
Saturday – 11:00 a.m. – 9:00 p.m.
Sunday – 1:00 – 5:00 p.m.