Asheville Scene: Bistro 1896 restaurant in downtown Asheville is closing


Asheville Scene reporter Mackensy Lunsford has the sad news regarding Bistro 1896:

After 16 years of business on Pack Square, Bistro 1896 will close the restaurant today.

“We’ve just poured so much money personally into this,” said Jenna Harrison, who owns the restaurant with partner Susan Crockett. “We just don’t have any more, so we had to make the decision to close the doors.”

Harrison said winter has been tough on the restaurant business. “I pretty much woke up on Valentine’s Day and opened up my bank account and looked at our reservations,” she said. “I realized we weren’t going to be bringing in enough money to keep her open. There are just so many other restaurants opening, it’s just taken all the business away from what we did get for the winter.”

Bistro 1896, which encompasses more than 3,000 feet by Harrison’s estimate, is currently for sale.

Click over to read the full story.


Asheville Scene: Bistro 1896 restaurant in downtown Asheville is … | March 4, 2013 - 1:14 am

[…] The restaurant has been in business in Asheville for 16… […]

Gary February 19, 2013 - 12:03 pm

Sad. It was the first restaurant I ate at when I moved here 7 years ago. Also was a favorite for a long time. I really never saw much in the way of promotion, though. Lots of ads that were just the signage and hours, but really no serious campaigns. Which just goes to show you… especially with the restaurant biz… you need to promote promote promote.

orulz February 19, 2013 - 9:56 am

I’ve heard somewhere that in the highly competitive restaurant business you need to do a pretty significant overhaul (everything from branding to menu to decor) about every 10 years or else you will become obsolete.

With one of the most prominent locations in town, I predict something will take over the space and be up and running by May.

Murphy February 18, 2013 - 12:07 pm

I wonder if we have reached a saturation point for the number of restaurants the area can support … and there is a handful of new places planning on opening soon.

Jason Sandford February 18, 2013 - 12:11 pm

Asheville restaurants that have closed so far this year: The Asheville Public, Cafe Azalea, Tomato Cucina Latina, and now Bistro 1896.

The Asheville restaurants in the works and set to open later this year: Pizza Pura, Bull & Beggar, Buxton Hill, Seven Sows, All Souls Pizza…

Jennifer Saylor February 18, 2013 - 12:28 pm

Also set to open: Oyster House Brewpub, Kitchen 643, BoBo Pho, Farm Burger, Zia Taqueria, Biscuit Head, Stirhaus, yet-to-be-named bar & charcuterie in the old Blue Water Seafood location.

Bruce Mont February 18, 2013 - 2:02 pm

What’s the latest on Kitchen 643?

Murphy February 18, 2013 - 2:19 pm

and there’s that place in the Haywood Park basement …

Vlad Emrick February 18, 2013 - 12:17 pm

16 years is a long run for any restaurant in any town. It’s the most competitive business there is, and a brutal one at that.

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