Asheville Grit: New riverside restaurant built from shipping containers set to be iconic draw

Jason Sandford

Jason Sandford is a reporter, writer, blogger and photographer interested in all things Asheville.

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supper_club_14The new Smoky Park Supper Club, with its wood-fired cooking and unique shipping container construction, has all the elements of a big draw. It’s being built on Riverside Drive in Asheville. Here’s a snippet from my story about Smoky Park Supper Club for Asheville Grit:

The rusted husks stacked along Riverside Drive don’t look like much.

They are shipping containers. Nineteen of them, to be exact, delivered by SG Blocks, a company that calls itself “the premier innovator of commercial and private environments utilizing code-engineered cargo shipping containers”. The versatile use of containers means that containers for sale rarely remain on the market for very long. They’ve been cut and placed together to build a new riverside restaurant dubbed the Smoky Park Supper Club. It sits just north of where the Bowen Bridge flies over Riverside Drive. This awesome design must of been cost effect to put together by buying them wholesale, you can learn more at websites such as

If this has given you some inspiration when it comes to coming up with a unique business idea, you may want to check out sites like and think about how you can turn something simple into a business venture.

“Smoky Park Supper Club will be the largest permitted container based restaurant in the US and we’re very proud to be part of the group who delivered it,” David Cross, the company’s vice president of business development, said in a written press release. “The venue’s uniqueness should be a real draw in Asheville,” he added.

That may be an understatement from Cross, who was talking specifically about his shipping containers. Consider the Asheville crew that will give life to the space, and you’ve got all the ingredients for an iconic new Asheville destination.

Asheville resident Doug Hecker, a professor of architecture at Clemson University and lead designer on the project, connected the developers of the new eatery – Matt Logan and Kristie Quinn – with the shipping container company to make the structure happen. Hecker is known for his unique design work. (Myles Alexander is the architect on the project. David Well is the general contractor. Justin Belt is the project manager.)

The final personality in the mix is Mark Rosenstein, the Asheville farm-to-table chef who was farm-to-table before it was cool. Rosenstein opened The Market Place in downtown in 1979 and helped pioneer the local food movement. His contribution is to set up the kitchen and cooking systems for a restaurant that will cook everything with wood fires. Wood-fired based cooking – for everything. Rosenstein and Logan bonded over a mutual admiration of Union Square Cafe, another iconic restaurant in New York City founded by Chef Danny Meyer.

Click over to read the full story.

Jason Sandford

Jason Sandford is a reporter, writer, blogger and photographer interested in all things Asheville.

  • 1

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  1. jill reed July 13, 2014

    Today we findly found the cargo container resturant. Nobody seem to know where it was ie the visitors center and the trolley driver.We took picture’s of the outside is very cool looking. I keep telling my husband that’s the next house I want lol maybe someday.

    1. boatrocker July 14, 2014

      Didja eat there? How’s the food? I’m ambivalent about how a restaurant is constructed, but I’d only hope for the summer there are fans or something there so one wouldn’t swelter. I do not enjoy the vapors or melancholy or whatever they called it in “Gone With the Wind”.

  2. jc July 10, 2014

    What’s the deal with shipping containers? Old rusty metal boxes that used to haul shit from China. They’re just metal boxes, I don’t give a fuck what your building is made of, what’s your food made of? and, honestly, i am tired of over hyped food establisments, how about some over hyped hardware stores or sex shops? I tend to spend more time thinking about sex and fixing things than food these days, so what do you say? where’s the sex in asheville? enough food ya damn prudes, where is the S E X ?

    1. hb July 11, 2014

      obviously not at your house.

      1. fark July 11, 2014

        Hahahahaha, what a great reply. The deal with shipping containers is that they are different, people like different. Think of it this way since you are so upset about the lack of sex in your life. The common restaurant is like missionary style, this one is different like going 69!

  3. Matt July 9, 2014

    I drive by that container building shell daily and have been wondering what’s going in there. Didn’t guess restaurant – thought more along the lines of low budget/high trend office space or art house….

    I look forward to seeing the project come together – Am I right in saying this is the first container building in the Asheville area? (except for all the train hoppers, of course)

    1. Miss Daisy July 10, 2014

      Someone is building a shipping container house in West Asheville.

  4. Katherine July 9, 2014

    Very interesting and such a great use of materials. I wish them luck and I’ll be sure to check it out when they open.


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