Brad Daugherty on his new Asheville restaurant: I want to be a part of the city’s culinary scene


Brad Daugherty loves to eat.

As he should. The 7-foot-tall former UNC Tar Heel basketball star, NBA baller and current ESPN NASCAR announcer (and team owner), has a big frame to fill.  So it makes sense that he would be interested in getting into the restaurant business. So the Black Mountain native is doing just that.

Daugherty is teaming up with Alan Wolf, the operating partner in the south Asheville eatery Frankie Bones (located in Gerber Village shopping center), to transform Frankie Bones into a new restaurant, Daugherty’s American Kitchen & Drink. (Frankie Bones closes on Saturday, with the new restaurant opening soon.)

In a phone interview Thursday afternoon, Daugherty took time out of a family playground visit in California to talk about his first-ever restaurant venture.

“Frankie Bones has always been a favorite of mine, and Alan called me about eight months ago and we started talking about doing a restaurant. All the guys in the group said they were interested in freshening up that franchise,” Daughtery said.

“The opportunity became available and I thought it was a great opportunity to get into the restaurant business with a great group of partners in a town that I love,” he said.

Daughtery said that while he loved the big plates that Frankie Bones served up, his new restaurant will reflect the shift to more healthier fare that Asheville has seen in recent year. The restaurant will feature small plates and will have plenty of seafood and vegetarian fare. The new eatery will also get a physical facelift, with a focus on opening up the space more and lightening up the atmosphere, Daugherty said.

“We’re creating a healthy menu. It’s not fusion. I hate the word ‘fusion,'” Daugherty said, adding that the menu will have a lot of variety.

Daugherty said there’s another important aspect to the food, and that’s the atmosphere around the eats.

“We’re trying to celebrate the daily meal,” Daugherty said. “I know that’s old-school, but I think it’s important The most important conversations I’ve had in life in business or relationships or with family have happened sitting around a table of good food.”

Daugherty said he’s excited to join Asheville’s vibrant culinary scene.

“The food culture in Asheville is just fabulous. It’s incredible. I’ve eaten in every restaurant in town,” he said. “There are some really talented people in Asheville.”

Image link for Brad Daughterty.


Todd Reese June 28, 2014 - 6:19 pm

doghaus, you must be a crappy server, I’ve waited on this guy I bet 20 times here in Ashvegas and he always tipped very well. Got tipped more than the bill often.

Mark Webber June 28, 2014 - 6:14 pm

Cool Guy, Left me a 100 percent tip numerous times. Someone we as WNC folk can be proud of.

doghaus28815 June 23, 2014 - 6:40 pm

waited on this guy years ago…he tips 5%. just sayin’.

Kate Fisher June 20, 2014 - 9:31 am

When the boys were little, and Beanstreets was holding down the corner of Broadway and College streets, we would often eat breakfast there with Brad and Eliot Wadopian and George Weaver. And as Mr. Daughtery mentions, great conversations happen at mealtimes. I miss those morning meetings. Brad Daughtery has been a presence in Asheville for a long time, and no matter where he goes, he still comes home. I know people are chaffing at the pace of change in town, and it is a whirlwind, but I think it is great that someone who came from here, who could have walked away and never looked back, has chosen to continue over the years to be committed to the community. Seems like a pretty natural progression from that connection to the area.

Jesse June 20, 2014 - 7:30 am

Take heart, there is a law of diminishing returns, soon you will see restaurant after restaurant closing….you can’t keep growing, growing and growing without consequence…Thats what cancer cells do and we know what happens to them, they kill the host.

Joanna June 19, 2014 - 5:43 pm

The menu is going to be AMAZING! This is going to become a must-do restaurant for all of the foodies here.

Doug Cegelis June 19, 2014 - 7:22 pm

How in the world do you know this?

Joanna June 20, 2014 - 11:28 pm

Let’s just say I know people…and they really, really, really know what they’re doing here. Inventive without being precious and solid flavors that will turn you into a fan 😉

Harry June 19, 2014 - 5:37 pm

Oh great news! Another restaurant where you can spend $100 for dinner and walk out hungry.

theOtherBarry June 20, 2014 - 12:15 am

For Gods sake, who cares, man!?! It’s another new restaurant. That’s the only thing that matters, & it’s the only one so far today. We’ll die shivering in the dark at this pace.

Harry June 20, 2014 - 10:28 am

Silly me. You are correct. I should be ecstatic. We were just about to run out of places to eat and get liquored up in this town. As a 6′ 6″, 240 pound, full grown man, I find the fascination with small, overpriced “plates” to be quite odd. I love spending money in Asheville restaurants, but I better leave satisfied.

Amanda June 20, 2014 - 3:11 pm

The problem with America is the food portions. If you were getting proper nutrition you wouldn’t feel hungry after having a properly portioned meal. I think this is going to be a great concept. Maybe you should take a course in nutrition and get educated. I’m sure these places won’t miss your business though. Go enjoy a buffet instead.

Harry June 20, 2014 - 4:01 pm

The problem with America is people like you telling other people what and how much to eat. Now you may be a big ole heffer. I have no idea. But I’m going to take a wild azz guess and say that a satisfying portion size for me is probably going to be a bit larger than yours. I’m not overweight, nor am I in poor health. I’m not really much for buffets sweet cheeks, but thanks for the advice.

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