Asheville opening of largest shipping container restaurant in U.S. nears


Here’s a great update on what will be a pretty incredible new Asheville restaurant. Smoky Park Supper Club on Riverside Drive is set to open in a couple of months. It’s built from 19 shipping containers, and it will feature a wood-fired food menu by Asheville farm-to-table pioneer Mark Rosenstein.

More, from a press release:

Matt Logan, the owner of 5 Walnut downtown, purchased the 1.8 acre property along the French Broad River in 2011 with a dream to create a riverfront restaurant where patrons could walk, bike, or boat in, and enjoy delicious local foods with a stunning view. After a detailed cleanup period, then planning and securing permits, Logan has been working steadily with operating partners Kristie Quinn and Rosenstein, and their design-build team to get the restaurant ready for a spring 2015 opening.

Smoky Park Supper Club – 19 Containers 3 Days from Douglas Hecker on Vimeo.

The design team includes lead designer Douglas Hecker, a Professor of Architecture at Clemson University, architect Myles Alexander, and David Cross, VP of Business Development at SG Blocks—the company that prepared and delivered the containers from a port in Jacksonville, Florida, and installed them on site in Asheville.

The project has been a couple of years in the making, but it’s soon to open. From the release:

The restaurant is now in its final stages, with work being done on interior finishes, bar furnishings, and final touches including local art. A sweeping cherry wood bar by local craftsman Peter White will offer an elevated view of the French Broad River inside the restaurant. Behind the bar, large windows open for outdoor walk-up service on the 2,400 square foot wrap-around deck. Around the side of the main door, a take out window allows patrons to call ahead–from the river or the road–and pick up food to-go or enjoy on the grounds. Inside the kitchen, a 9,000-pound Le Panyol oven is the centerpiece for the wood-fired menu, with a dining room window looking into the action.

“I have been working on this menu since 2009. We are just at the beginning of a long adventure,” said Rosenstein.

Rosenstein was the founder of The Market Place, which he opened in 1979, establishing his reputation as a pioneer in Asheville’s farm-to-table movement. In the coming weeks, Rosenstein said they’ll announce the head chef for Smoky Park Supper Club, who he will be closely mentoring and collaborating with. As for the food, Rosenstein describes the wood-fired menu as “simple, direct, and live-fired.”

“Think charred, seared, and smoked–all the many nuances of cooking with flame. At Smoky Park Supper Club, we’ll do it all: seasonal vegetable sides and slow-roasted local meats.”

One thing that won’t be on the menu is pizza, because, as Rosenstein points out, they’ll leave that to other area restaurants. What SPSC aims to do is deliver food that you can’t find anywhere else, with a menu that is straightforward and inviting.

“The strongest statement you can make is that you’ve mastered the basics and taken them to sublime simplicity,” said Rosenstein.

Thirty feet from the restaurant, an open air venue called “The Boathouse,” will be available for private parties, weddings, farmer’s markets, and art fairs. It will also be used to host special events for nonprofits, and Quinn says they are working on a program to offer the space to various community programs and nonprofits throughout the year. For the last year, Smoky Park Supper Club has been hosting Greenworks as their three-year nonprofit tenant on the property, in an upcycled building adjacent to their office.

“I am inspired to be part of the wonderful team that is putting this together,” said Rosenstein. “Matt, Kristie and I connect on so many levels. It is all about hospitality. Good food is only one component. With the restaurant, the river, and the beautiful environment, Smoky Park Supper Club will be a total experience.”


Keli Keach April 4, 2015 - 11:32 am

Check out the latest images for the restaurant. So excited to see this all come together.

Cathie P. March 28, 2015 - 12:36 pm

Congratulations! Can’t wait to see it this summer.

a. white March 27, 2015 - 5:54 pm

Are you still hiring front of house staff?

Minnie March 27, 2015 - 9:30 am

Be still my heart! Mark Rosenstein behind the stove again! As Carly Simon would say “Nobody does it better!” Yippee!!!

Sandra March 27, 2015 - 8:03 am

Sounds really nice, and glad to see lovely things going on in River Arts District. The space for non-profits sounds great too.

Lauren March 26, 2015 - 6:56 pm

This is going to be fabulous

JBelt March 26, 2015 - 6:10 pm

Wells Construction Group is the GC, has been a very fun and challenging project. I’ve enjoyed it and hope everyone on the river does for years to come.

chris March 28, 2015 - 3:31 pm

Did you remove or did you seal the existing wood flooring of the containers?

jtroop March 26, 2015 - 1:12 pm

this place looks great and I cant wait for it to open….. but didn’t it seem to take a long time to build-out?

chris March 28, 2015 - 3:42 pm


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