Restaurants to look out for (and the ones that didn’t make it): The Ashvegas year in restaurants 2013
If you want to better understand why Asheville enjoys the restaurant reputation it does, just have a look below, especially at the list of new restaurants that opened this year, which include a new venture (Rhubarb) from top Southeastern chef John Fleer, two kickass wood-fired pizza joints, two kickass biscuit restaurants, two Korean restaurants, farm-to-table burgers and the new down-home downtown spot from Michael Moore, mastermind of the Blind Pig underground supper club and an up-and-coming chef in his own right.
And check out the West Asheville boom, with six restaurants in the works in the Haywood Road area alone. With New Belgium’s East Coast brewery and plant coming in, this area can only continue to grow.
Looking forward to 2014, looks like we’ll see more chains than usual slipping onto the food scene, especially if the long-rumored Chipotle finally makes its eagerly awaited debut.
2012 totals: 16 closings, 21 openings.
2013 totals: 23 closings, 38 openings
Happy eating, and here’s to good food and drink in 2014.
ASHEVILLE RESTAURANTS ON THE HORIZON
Good luck to the new crew Brasilia Churrasco Steakhouse (former Magnolia’s location): One of two Brazilian-style steakhouses moving into the downtown spot recently vacated by O.G. downtown eatery Magnolia’s.
Buffalo Nickel: A venture from Asheville Realtor Lynn Foster, this restaurant is slated to open in early 2014 at 747 Haywood Road, with former Storm sous chef Ryan Kline as head chef.
Green Sage West Asheville: The popular local chain expands with a third location next to Earth Fare Westgate.
Hole: Currently just a twinkle in the eye of an empty lot in East West Asheville near Urban Orchard, this will soon become a coffeeshop and donut joint from the former owners of Tin Can Pizzeria.
King Daddy’s Chicken and Waffles: The owners of Early Girl branch out with a West Side chicken and waffles joint.
King James Public House: Charlotte Street gets a gastropub, with former Zambra chef Steve Goff in the kitchen.
Neo Burrito Woodfin: New location coming to Reynolds Village, with developer Zak Yancey hoping for a May 2014 opening.
The Nightbell: New cocktails/dining/dancing spot with DJs and food from Curate chef Katie Button. The latest venture from the family behind Curate is coming February 2014, according to the latest word from Curate co-owner Elizabath Button, Katie’s mom.
Off the Wagon Dueling Piano Bar: In the former Cinjades location. Rio de Brazil: Brazilian steakhouse coming to Hendo Road.
Vortex Doughnuts: At last! The indie donut shop that won awards before it even opened has found a home, on the South Slope. Three words: beer and donuts.
Well-Bred Bakery & Café Biltmore: Permits just approved; look for an early spring opening.
MORE: And the coffeeshop rumored to be moving in next to the former Digable Pizza & the Greek/Italian restaurant going into the former Arcade downtown. And the West Asheville restaurant from the owners of Nine Mile and Lucky Otter. And the new restaurant that will open in the Tomato Jam Café location after its lease ends this month.
CHAIN RESTAURANTS ON THE HORIZON
Chik-fil-a Merrimon: In one of the out-parcels near the new Harris Teeter grocery store.
Chipotle Mexican Grill: The rumors never end. Latest word on the street is that it will be located in front of the new Publix grocery store to be built on Hendersonville Road.
Golden Corral: Word on the street is that the restaurant will be coming to Patton Avenue near the Kmart shopping center.
Moe’s Southwest Grill: One Merrimon location coming up.
NEW IN 2013
All Souls Pizza
Ambrozia Bar & Bistro
Another Broken Egg Café
Asheville Sandwich Company
Ben’s Tune Up
Blue Kudzu Sake
Blue Ridge Biscuit Company
BT’s Burger Joint
Bull and Beggar
The Green Room
The Local Taco
Oyster House Brewpub
Seven Sows Bourbon and Larder
Sol y Luna
Thirsty Monk Biltmore Park
Thirsty Monk South
Tiger Bay Café
Top of the Monk
The obits: Restaurants that closed this year
Eat local and support the restaurants you love.
Appalachian Tavern on Merrimon, Elliott Moss’ Buxton Hill Barbecue on the South Slope, the Shambles on Charlotte Street, and Kanoo in West Asheville: All restaurant concepts that died in 2013 without ever seeing the light of day.
It’s a big deal that top Asheville chef Elliott Moss is still professionally homeless after leaving The Admiral and Ben’s Tune Up. Keep your eye on Moss in 2014, both as a pop-up chef at Punk Wok in the MG Road space on Mondays and as a supper club chef, and for whatever else he has up his sleeve.
The Asheville Public
The Birdhouse Café
Brioso Fresh Pasta
Digable Pizza (soon to be the new home of Asheville Sandwich Company)
Franks’ NY Deli
Morning Glory Café
Tomato Jam Café (new restaurant to open in its place)
Tomato Cucina Latina
MIA restaurant concepts: ideas we’re still waiting on … Stirhaus: The Lexington Avenue Brewery project first mentioned in 2012 has yet to debut.
Kitchen 643: Mysterious Haywood Road restaurant still hasn’t debuted.
The new riverside restaurant and bar constructed from shipping containers, a venture from Matthew Logan, owner of the 5 Walnut bar on Walnut Street downtown. The current space, called the Boathouse, has hosted nonprofit events.