Lake Norman Magazine

What's hot at Horsefeathers

Gayle Shomer

It’s tough to put your finger on a restaurant and nightlife venue whose website shows a photo of a kids’ Easter egg hunt alongside a picture of a row of Harleys parked in the lot. What is Horsefeathers Roadhouse anyway? Is this place a family-friendly restaurant serving great food, a gathering place for locals, or a hidden spot showcasing some great live music?

Maybe the answer is all of the above.

The venue opened in 1996 and has gone through many renovations since. Located off Highway 150 in Sherrills Ford, the off-the-beaten path roadhouse includes a bar, dance floor, restaurant and outside entertainment area. Oh, and it produces some of the best barbecue the old fashioned way. “We’re sure (we have) the largest stand-alone smoke house on Lake Norman,” says owner Tim Anderton. “With the addition of the cooker we hope to install this October, we’ll add a whole new dimension to the barbecue product we’ve developed.” From pulled pork sandwiches to ribs to “Hawg wings,” this barbecue is the real deal. But you’re not left out if you prefer munchies like steaks, sandwiches and salads. The menu abounds with variety.

There are plenty of cold ones to pair with your food item of choice. Taps feature over 24 beers and the bar has the full assortment of liquor, says general manager Keith Howell. If you’re in the mood for drinks and a game of pool, the upstairs pool tables are up for grabs, including free pool every Thursday. Those favoring the tailgate-turned-backyard game of cornhole should visit on Tuesday evenings.

One of the biggest additions – literally – since the roadhouse’s opening is the deck, recently renovated for a second time to over 2,000 square feet. That’s a far cry from the original 700 square foot deck primarily used to house the walk-in freezer and cooler. “The deck’s expansion enabled us to add outside live music for outdoor parties and dances,” says Anderton. “Patrons access the deck from both the upper and lower bar and restaurant areas, allowing people great flexibility for their entertainment plans.”

Indeed the lower level focuses on family-friendly gatherings, with table seating and games, while the upper level features the tap room, pool tables and dance floor. Don’t let the summer heat steer you away from the outdoor area. A newly installed outdoor cooling system keeps the temperature comfortable during the hottest months. But no air conditioning can cool down the bands that play each week. Horsefeathers is a popular stop every Saturday night for North Carolina bands playing blues, country and Southern rock. Those who prefer being the live act should check out karaoke on Friday evenings. Are you looking for a compromise to being in the spotlight? If so, gather some friends to enjoy a Sunday evening shag dancing with favorite shag DJs from the Lake Norman area.

So is Horsefeathers a nightclub, a restaurant or a pool hall? The answer appears to beyes. “We’re definitely popular with locals and anyone looking for a fun evening,” says Howell. “We have a friendly staff, great food and entertainment for families and friends to enjoy.”

The venue is certainly large enough to accommodate the activities. Spotting Little Mountain Road, the road from Highway 150 that leads to Horsefeathers, is more difficult than spotting the Roadhouse itself. Once you make the turn from Little Mountain onto Mt. Pleasant Road you can’t miss it.

Where did the name Horsefeathers originate anyway? Owner Tim Anderton thanks a graduate school MBA class for the contribution. “I told a professor about my search to name (a restaurant) located in a rural countryside setting that had been built around a rustic, one-of-a-kind Western theme,” he says. “He took my case to an MBA class as a challenge to come up with names for the business I profiled. Their brainstorming led to a search of Greek mythology and found the word horsefeathers to reference items associated with horses, as in ‘the horsefeathers, or trappings of the horse.’ I liked it because it’s a name not easily forgotten!”

So after all is said and done, are you still asking “What is Horsefeathers anyway?”

“This is a place for very mixed crowds to hang out, to eat, drink, dance, and play games while enjoying both inside and outside facilities,” says Anderton. Maybe the answer is that it’s the best kept secret on the western shore of Lake Norman. Or maybe the answer is it’s a place you need to check out for yourself.

Want to go?Where:Horsefeathers RoadhouseAddress:3746 Mt. Pleasant Road, Sherrills FordHours: Monday – Wednesday, 2 p.m. – 11 p.m.; Thursday 11 a.m. – 11 p.m.; Friday – Saturday, 11 a.m. – 2 a.m.; Sunday 12 p.m. – 10 p.m.Details: 704-966-0192,