The Isis Restaurant at night


The verdict is in: The brand-new Isis Restaurant and Music Hall offers casual fine dining with attentive service. Not pricey, not cheap. Portions are neither modest nor Salsa-sized; you leave full but not stuffed.

A changing seasonal menu includes scallops, steak, chicken, appetizers (crabcakes, hoppin’ john with shrimp) and desserts from an in-house pastry chef, plus beer, wine and cocktails.

Warm, inviting and not quite like anything else in West Asheville, Ashvegas is calling the Isis a welcome addition to the neighborhood. It’s a bar, but one with a burnished, mellow feel and a grand piano in the upstairs bar. It’s a music venue, but also what is by all accounts shaping up to be a high-quality listening room. It serves upscale evening meals, but with a clean, contemporary feel that’s nothing like the Admiral.

It’s family-owned, with two generations of the Woody family stopping by your table just to say hi.

We had the chicken, and it was the best meal I’ve had in weeks. Check it out.

Mon.-Sun., 5 p.m. to midnight.

Isis on Facebook.

743 Haywood Road.


Joanna Swanson August 2, 2013 - 9:37 pm

If all of the ” Nay Sayers ” of Ashville can not appreciate the fine beauty and design in the atmosphere of fine cuisine, spirits, great music from a wonderful family, I guess they should just move on to another resturaunt and stop whining. According to the web site of the “twenty most friendly cities” in America…….Ashville ranked. Why? The southern hospitality and creative arts the Woody family wanted to share with Ashville. Joanna Swanson, Charlotte NC

Claire Lynch to play The Isis on Dec. 7 November 12, 2012 - 12:57 pm

[…] The Isis at night. […]

Tom Mendenhall-Woodstock, Ga October 27, 2012 - 8:53 am

I know the Woody’ personally. . They are all great people, honest and hard working. Scott, a good friend, has brought a vision concept and turned into reality to benefit West Asheville. I am personally gonna drive up from Atanta soon and show my support to the restaurant and family. I wish them all the best in the restaurant and look forward to the music selection they bring in the music hall. Scott and Lil are two of the kindest people I know.

Terry October 21, 2012 - 10:16 am

The Isis is full of great people all kinds of people and everyday is a new and exciting day. The people I work with here are fun to be around. The people I see in the seats out in the dinning area are happy. I see the happy faces and the bright shinning ideas in the smiles of things soon to come. It is like the previews a start of a good movie. It is like something we don’t know yet, but we want to come see it and be a part of it and create it at the same time.

David October 19, 2012 - 8:39 am

Hmmm … you got served

craggybender October 17, 2012 - 5:02 pm

Well-said Loretta. Woody family – don’t let this kind of nonsense get to you. Your product and your service will sell itself. I look forward to visiting you soon and it’s nice to see that you have a staff willing to go to bat for you in house and on blogs!

Loretta October 17, 2012 - 3:02 pm

Hmmm, Good people, including the Woodys, have spent too much time responding to your sniveling little comments which you’ve tried to disguise as concern for the “workers”.
You screwed up somewhere and didn’t stand up for yourself….just guessing here. I’m also guessing that The Isis will thrive without ‘hmm’.

nolaron October 17, 2012 - 10:28 am

I work at Isis and love it! I have worked in the service industry for many years,and in many cities and can say its a pleasure to work at a venue where I can truly say the Employer treats each and every Employee with RESPECT and FAIRNESS.NOW FOR CLARITY, I work front of house and NOBODY dictated what and how much,and to whom I should or should’nt tip out, thats left to the INDIVIDUALS DISCRETION.
Spreading “False Rumors”(hmm)can only serve to HURT the people you claim to HELP. Just a thought……

Hola October 17, 2012 - 11:19 am

I work at Isis and that hasn’t been my experience.

Slippery Pete October 17, 2012 - 9:47 am

Some of you people would bitch if your ice cream was cold. I hope you whining little bitches stay out of Isis. It will make for a better experience for the rest of us. Best wishes to the Woody family.

Scott Woody October 17, 2012 - 12:37 pm

As the owner of Isis, I feel compelled to respond to the comments made by hmm. This is apparently the same individual that posted on our Facebook page under the moniker of Rote Zora ((English: Red Zora, from the book Die Rote Zora und ihre Bande by Kurt Held) was a militant feminist group active in West Germany from 1977–95, known for a series of bombings.)

First. I’m always saddened that people would hide under a fictitious name to make critical comments – especially without even bothering to check any facts. By falsely suggesting we are exploiting our employees not only potentially damages our business, but also impacts the very folks (servers and front of house staff) that you claim to be an advocate for. You don’t know me – or my family and you certainly don’t know the relationship (or wages) we have with our staff. Second, you have taken Jennifer’s blog comments and review of something new in West Asheville and attempted to turn it into some sort of personal political statement. Shame on you!! I ignored your first slanderous statements on FB as the act of someone with nothing better to do than to try and bring down those that actually work hard to participate in society (btw – in my previous business – I had employees that stayed with me for in excess of 20 years – they were all well taken care of and helped create a positive, fun working environment. Many still come back to visit)

So, to the truth:

1. We are paying all of our kitchen staff a fair wage – each got what they asked for during the interview process – they all have expressed an excitement for being part of the concept of Isis. We are happy to have them and they are happy to be here.

2. The wait staff voluntarily tips out the kitchen – they – as we – feel the back of house is an integral part of what Isis is. We have encouraged all of our staff to participate in the operation of Isis and have included them in all decisions concerning the tip out of bartenders and auxiliary serving staff. If the restaurant has a big night, the kitchen really knocks it out, the the tips are high, it seems reasonable that all should share – not only in the work – but the reward. The tip out of the kitchen is an independent function – based solely on the individual servers discretion. When and how much they wish to give to the back of house staff is their decision. The only exception is – that whatever is given is to be distributed equally among all the BOH staff – except salaried and managers.

We have a regularly scheduled meeting with our staff , we’ll make it a point to make sure that no one has an issue with this – but given the character of those we have hired – I think they are proud to share with those that helped make their job easier, enjoyable, and more profitable

“hmmm” , my suggestion to you would be… instead of trying to bring others down… why not go out, put yourself at risk, and create some jobs during this time of economic need.

hmmm October 17, 2012 - 4:55 pm

These points are not against you or your family as people, but against business practices which bring up legality issues. With all due respect, it’s my right as a community and neighborhood member, and a frequent restaurant patron, to share my opinion.

You know as a business owner that small decisions about where the dollars come from add up over time. If you want to provide a monetary pat on the back to the kitchen workers because business has been good, the legal way to make that happen is to give a bonus based on sales, rather than a “suggested” (in my experience that should read “socially obligated”) tip out that comes out of servers pockets. What may only be a few dollars a night makes a difference of thousands at the end of the year.

Invariably, owners make this issue about servers being “proud to share” their good fortune, but the appropriate and legal person to share would be yourself, as an owner.

Paying the staff to come to mandatory meetings is another way to stay on the legal side of things.

mvw October 22, 2012 - 2:00 pm

Armchair-lawyering is a scary thing… Perhaps Hmm would be well-advised to focus his/her energy and attention towards a something requiring a lesser degree of reading comprehension. Furthermore, accusing one of a crime (via publication)is not a matter of opinion, its called defamation, per se.

wncrod October 16, 2012 - 10:30 pm

Not illegal. Spelled out in the NC General Statutes. Educate yourself, hmm:

95‑25.3. Minimum wage.
(f)Tips earned by a tipped employee may be counted as wages only up to the amount permitted in section 3(m) of the Fair Labor Standards Act, 29 U.S.C. 203(m), if the tipped employee is notified in advance, is permitted to retain all tips and the employer maintains accurate and complete records of tips received by each employee as such tips are certified by the employee monthly or for each pay period. Even if the employee refuses to certify tips accurately, tips may still be counted as wages when the employer complies with the other requirements of this section and can demonstrate by monitoring tips that the employee regularly receives tips in the amount for which the credit is taken. Tip pooling shall also be permissible among employees who customarily and regularly receive tips; however, no employee’s tips may be reduced by more than fifteen percent (15%) under a tip pooling arrangement.

Nate Martin October 17, 2012 - 7:31 am

The key phrase in that statute is “among employees WHO CUSTOMARILY AND REGULARLY RECEIVE TIPS,” however …. what parallel universe do you come from where dishwashers and line cooks and cleaning crew “customarily and regularly receive tips”?

Scott Woody October 18, 2012 - 11:43 pm

the key words here are actually “tip pooling” and “compelled” … none of which is or has been happening…. let’s end the discussion…. and if you have issues with what you perceive may be practices you have concern for… why not ask/discuss it with those involved instead of making assumptions and spreading criticism inappropriately.

Eric October 27, 2012 - 2:33 pm

FWIW – I’ve worked in lots of situations where “back of the house” regularly received tips.

Can’t wait to check out the Isis – I hope that Hmmmm finds a job that makes him/her happy.

hmm October 17, 2012 - 11:16 am

Exactly, what Nate said. Also, it’s at the federal level; look up Fair Labor Standards Act

“The FLSA allows tip pooling (or sharing) arrangements among service employees who typically receive tips. For example, waiters may be required to pool their tips with bartenders and bussers for equal disbursement at the end of a shift. Tipped employees may not be compelled to pool tips among employees who do not normally receive tips, including cooks and dishwashers.”

Jabob October 16, 2012 - 7:36 pm

Here, a prime example of how to be awesome. Laurelhurst Theater in Portland

Josephine Woody October 17, 2012 - 3:13 am

I and my family have put so much heart and time into Isis. We want only to have a spot that everyone, including our employees, can enjoy. You don’t know me, you don’t know my family, nor do you know the amazing staff we have. Our intention is only to bring another spot to west asheville that’s inviting, has good people, a good meal, and in addition, a room that’s made for listening. If you’re really going to complain about that, then don’t check it out and go somewhere else. I’m so over people that have no true idea about what they’re blasting.

Jabob October 17, 2012 - 12:22 pm

Well gawly… I wasn’t saying you didn’t work hard for your vision of wavl…im just tired of redundancy

Josephine Woody October 17, 2012 - 4:28 pm

There are better words to be used if all you were trying to share was a concern about “redundancy”- You really should come see what’s happening here, there isn’t anything else like this in west asheville. So i’m not sure what you are referring to as redundant. We all are working together here and want the best for this side of town. We are local. We love music. And we love west Asheville. There is no pretentious fart smelling happening here.

Orbit DVD October 17, 2012 - 7:48 am

Jabob, a group of us were looking into opening a theater here in West Asheville or nearby a few years ago. Today I’m glad that didn’t happen.

This year is an unfortunate milestone in the history of film because it is the last year that the studios are manufacturing 35mm. From this point on, it is all digital. Conversion to a digital projector is frighteningly expensive, upwards to $100,000 for non 3D.

Believe me, the number one thing people want here is a movie theater. I just don’t know if it’s economically feasible.

Jabob October 17, 2012 - 12:26 pm

This was informative! Our shared dream is crushed…for now!

Scott Woody October 17, 2012 - 12:44 pm

The reference that Jabob referred to is a 4 plex – which, in my research, was about the minimum to actually break even from a business stand point. While we may consider an occasional movie night in the future.. it seems many people in west asheville are excited about the prospect of a listening style music hall. Don’t know about the pretentious fart smelling… possible you could point that out to us Jabob when you come in.

zelda pinwheel October 17, 2012 - 11:33 pm

Actually, an indie theater would be very difficult as the industry moves ever closer to all digital. Simply not affordable to have the equipment necessary.

Jabob October 16, 2012 - 7:30 pm

Blerg… Yuppie, seasonal, dumb… They should have re-vamped it into a nice low key, independent movie theater…local brew, local business, and none of the pretentious fart smelling… What could have been

chris October 16, 2012 - 7:46 pm

Jabob there is plenty a local beer on tap plus others. Most of the business I have seen coming has been local. Its owned by locals. Pretentious is off the mark. I do not get the yuppie vibe when I am in there. Just another place for west a-ville persons to go and hang out. Come on in and have a dessert on me. Chris the pastry guy.

Jabob October 16, 2012 - 8:18 pm

Chris, do not doubt your desserts would blow my mind, and the inside looks nice!

It’s just that local market could probably support either the current venue or a movie theater, and I think the theater would have diversified the local entertainment scene to a greater degree, enriching wavl in a way that a continued saturation of bars/restaurants/music venues probably can’t continue doing

Doug Sahm October 16, 2012 - 3:40 pm

Wow, it looks really nice inside. Looking forward to going.

hmm October 16, 2012 - 12:51 pm

No disrespect to the kitchen person, because I have done that too, but it is definitely illegal. Your monetary “thank you” for doing an awesome job should be coming from the owners–the people who go home with the profit at the end of the night. When they skim tips from the waiters and then spread it around beyond the waiters/bussers/food runners/bartenders (like to pay the kitchen staff, coat check person, or dishwasher) it is illegal, and this battle has been fought and won in court.

Otherwise you have management taking tips (legally the property of the waitstaff) and doing things like using them for cashflow or taking a cut for management. It’s a great, if illegal, way for owners to cut corners and save money on workers comp, etc, because the declared wage is less than the actual paid amount going home.

The only way this could be legal is if waitstaff signs a written consent form to the effect that they are aware this practice is taking place. It has to be in writing.

Important point: tipping out the ‘front of the house’ (buspersons, food runners, bartenders–people who are on the floor besides management) is perfectly legal.

Here’s some more info:

joey October 16, 2012 - 4:03 pm

As I said earlier, it is not illegal if they are aware of it and agree to it. It appears they have all agreed to it so what’s the problem? If the employee’s are happy it doesn’t seem like you should try and trash the business name.

joey October 16, 2012 - 12:03 pm

Actually, this is not illegal at all. As long as the servers are made aware of it and agree to it, it is completely legal. Keep your lies and misinformation to yourself. As a kitchen person I would welcome the tip out since we are an important piece to the tip that is left on that table

Republican October 16, 2012 - 10:12 am

Go to bed lady. It’s late and your post old.

Sean October 16, 2012 - 9:05 am


hmm October 16, 2012 - 1:04 am

So, I was excited about going to Isis, until I found out that the owners are cutting corners by having servers tip out (provide part of their tips to) the kitchen. This is illegal practice and should stop. If you have the front money to rehab a space and open a restaurant, you should be able to budget paying your kitchen staff a fair wage and not having servers augment poor wages in order to improve your bottom line.

I am so sick of workers getting the shaft in this town. We do not exist simply as a vehicle to fill the owner class’ pockets with money. I will not be going to Isis until they change this policy in accordance with federal law, and I will also be spreading the word that they have unfair and illegal labor practices.

Orbit DVD October 16, 2012 - 12:15 pm

What’s the law they are breaking hmm?

joey October 16, 2012 - 12:41 pm

Actually, this is not illegal at all. As long as the servers are made aware of it and agree to it, it is completely legal. Keep your lies and misinformation to yourself. As a kitchen person I would welcome the tip out since we are an important piece to the tip that is left on that table

chris October 16, 2012 - 7:07 pm

I dont what HMMM is talking about because I work in the kitchen and have not received dollar one from any server. As far a your comments go as the owners trying to fill their pockets with money you could not be more wrong. The Woody’s are trying to promote a culture of Isis being a fun place to work, you are part of a family. They have taken a huge gamble to bring something unique and creative to west asheville. People should be applauding that a local family is trying to promote a local business and give local people jobs. I for one am grateful. Since when did Asheville become so full of the glass is half empty people.

Terry October 17, 2012 - 6:58 am

I work in the kitchen No that is a lie!

zelda pinwheel October 17, 2012 - 11:28 pm

Actually, I work here, as a server. Nothing was forced upon us. This was decided very democratically and with the best interests of the staff in mind. Perhaps, before lashing out with allegations, a little research would be in order. My experience here has been, so far, one of the most positive work environments in which I have had the privilege to be.

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