Stack House, American Eatery & Pub

Story by Lauryn Higgins.  Photographs by Paul Vincent Photography.

With the convergence of brothers Nathan McMahan and Jordan McMahan, Stackhouse adds to the up and coming scene of Madison County.

SH_0058A small joint located on the corner of Main Street in Mars Hill, many folks know this area to be home to Mars Hill University, a college town with not a lot to offer. But for owner Nathan McMahan, he knew there was more he could do. He recalls, “I was a student here, then a professor and noticed a real lack of food options for the college students, so opening a burger joint, seemed like the perfect idea.”

Having spent two years in Memphis for graduate school, he worked as a private chef and learned the ropes of working in a kitchen and more importantly, what college kids wanted to eat.

The menu is eclectic, yet perfectly orchestrated to satisfy any diner. With appetizers ranging from the golden standard of French fries to an over the top, delightful spinach dip, the prices will not break the bank either.

But the real reason people are coming is for the namesake burger. “The name of the restaurant has two meanings. We have a build your own burger menu where people are able to stack their burgers with as many toppings as they want, thus acquiring the name, Stackhouse. However, college students and town locals will know the name for the giant rock located twenty minutes away that so many like to hike to,” explains McMahan.
The toppings are the real treat here. With over thirty options to choose from, you can build yourself a classic burger with lettuce, red onion, tomato and pickles, or if you’re a little more daring, try a vegetarian burger on sourdough with smoked Gouda and pickled red cabbage slaw.

If you’re not feeling creative, let Stackhouse do the work and pick from one of their ten specialty crafted burgers.


“The menu is a culmination of a lot of time and sweat in the kitchen and our specialty burgers were really fun to create,” says McMahan. One of those being the Big Bailey. A pulled pork sandwich, topped with slaw, pickles, house-made classic barbecue sauce, cheddar cheese and an onion ring. “This burger is named after Bailey Mountain which you can see from Mars Hill–it’s a crowd favorite.” Or the Dry Ridge Sandwich, which was popular long before the doors of Stackhouse opened. It consists of bacon, goat cheese, caramelized apples and honey mustard all stacked high on a piece of fried chicken.

“Originally the town of Weaverville was named Dry Ridge and this sandwich was created there, so we’re paying homage to it in a sense, and it’s also just a really good sandwich,” says McMahan.SH_0083

However, for those of you not too keen on a burger they have a wonderful selection of salads with ingredients sourced locally, fresh wings and an in-house made pimento cheese. Consisting of four cheeses and locally grown peppers, you can top a sandwich with the treat or have it slathered over fries. Whatever you choose, you’re sure to be delighted.

So, if you’re ever in the area and looking for a great meal or a great time, stop by Stackhouse and enjoy a cold brew and a hot burger and let the brothers take care of you.

Stack House, American Eatery & Pub, 37 South Main Street, Mars Hill, NC
Phone: (828) 680-1213


Hours, Monday through Saturday 11:00am to 11:00pm

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