Tingles, the new downtown Asheville cafe that resurrects a beloved old local brand, officially opens today (Tuesday). I’ve been checking in on the progress of the renovation pretty much since it started, and Jack and Lesley Groetsch have done a fantastic job with the cafe, which is on Broadway right next door to their swank bar, the Sazerac.
Here’s a tidbit from a column I wrote about the old and the new Tingles for the Asheville Citizen-Times a few weeks back:
Alvis Tingle started out in 1918 by opening a confectionery store on Broadway. He eventually expanded into a full restaurant that was open 24 hours a day for about a 10-year stretch in the 1930s. The enterprise was so successful that Tingle opened a second restaurant on Patton Avenue.
“It was the place to eat in Asheville for years and years and years,” one of Tingle’s grandsons, Bill Tingle, told me recently.
The restaurant finally closed in the 1970s. But in just a few scant weeks, the Asheville institution will reopen once again as Tingles Cafe. Owners Lesley and Jack Groetsch and their partner, Eric Booker, have dropped the apostrophe in the name but plan to keep the original’s friendliness and delectable food.
“It’s an honor and a bit of dumb luck that we have yet another opportunity to revive a historic brand in Asheville,” Lesley Groetsch says. She and her husband were instrumental in helping get The Orange Peel music club back on its feet after a long closure.
Go to the Citizen-Times to see a photo gallery of Monday night’s sneak preview. And check out the restaurant.