12 Bones barbecue joint closing Riverside restaurant Jan. 6, moving down the road

Asheville’s beloved 12 Bones Smokehouse restaurant has announced that the last day of operation at its original 5 Riverside Dr. barbecue joint will be Jan. 6. The restaurant is moving just south of its current spot to a new location off Lyman Street. The new address is is 5 Foundry St. The new location should be open early next year.

A multi-million dollar infrastructure project that’s re-aligning Riverside Drive is forcing the restaurant to close. The infrastructure project, which will bring upgrades to utilities and the roadway, is triggering wholesale changes in what was once a booming industrial center to business and trade along the river and a parallel rail line. The newly realigned Riverside Drive will pass through the old 12 Bones property. The restaurants original owners, Sabra Kelley and Tom Montgomery, opened in a former diner called Daisy’s Diner back in 2005.

12 Bones, which also has a restaurant in south Asheville, announced earlier this year that it would relocate just a mile or so south of its current spot to a new location behind Riverview Station arts studios. The area is being referred to as the Foundation. Developers Brent Starck, Eddie Dewey and Chris Eller, known collectively as Foundation Studios, bought the 13-acre property off Lyman Street and have begun redeveloping it. 12 Bones, and a second location of the popular Wedge Brewing, have landed there, as as an indoor skateboarding park. There will be more to come.

Here’s the 12 Bones statement posted today on Facebook:

This is where it all began almost 11 years ago. As many of you know, our beloved River Store building will no longer be standing come mid-January. We are sad to see it go but we are very excited about our new location just down the street at 5 Foundy. Our last day at the original location is January 6th. We urge you come have your favorite meal here one last time and say your goodbyes. Thank you all for being so supportive and making 12 Bones what it has become over the past decade. We can’t wait to see y’all at the new location next year!

12 Bones received national acclaim when it won a Good Morning America barbecue sauce competition. Then Sen. Barack Obama stopped by 12 Bones when he was on the campaign trail in 2008. As President, Obama visited the restaurant in 2010 when he and the First Lady vacationed here. And in 2013, when Obama stopped in Asheville to talk jobs, he again mentioned his love of 12 Bones. The restaurant was sold in 2013 to new owners, Bryan King and Angela Koh, two former employees.

Here’s my first blog post about 12 Bones, from way back in 2005.

About the Author

Jason Sandford
Jason Sandford is a reporter, writer, blogger and photographer interested in all things Asheville.

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