Local real estate developer Tony Fraga and wife Isabel have purchased the former Flying Frog/Solace space, a prime downtown spot for people-watching and drinks al fresco that’s been without a tenant since Solace’s closing this past fall.

Big black question marks appeared on the space’s glass doors after Solace left, and now the mystery is finally revealed: The Fragas have bought the space for their new restaurant, Isa’s Bistro.

Asheville Scene confirms it:

Isa’s Bistro is a new venture by Tony Fraga, whose FIRC group owns the Westgate Plaza shopping center and has a management agreement with the Haywood Park Hotel. The restaurant is a tenant of FIRC, but not owned by the company. Isa’s Bistro won’t be Fraga’s first foray into the restaurant world. He’s also an investor in a seasonally focused Manhattan restaurant called Telepan.

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“But it’s definitely going to be a rebirth for that space. That much we know. As the full dumpster outside foretells, there’s a lot of demolition going on in that space. It’s going to be a complete rebirth of that space and [will] take ownership of that corner again in the heart of town.”

According to Scene‘s Mackensy Lunsford, who spoke to a representative, the Fragas won’t yet say what kind of cuisine their new bistro will serve, but will say they’ve brought on Jason Cancilla, former general manager of the Grove Park Inn & Spa to manage, and are hiring a chef.

Look for an opening in April or May with a revamped interior, according to Scene.

Full Asheville Scene article here.

Nearby, inside the Haywood Park Hotel atrium, look for the new Haywood Park Cafe to serve coffee and light cafe fare starting next month.

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6 Comments

  1. I am sorry but the name is horrible … people should really look around Asheville and feel the vibe and culture of a neighborhood before going into business and naming it ! please come up with something a lil more original … really ?

  2. Will give a try so long as they don’t charge locals for parking like the grove park inn.

  3. They don’t anymore, at least not at the Blue Ridge Dining room. It’s gotten so touristy there, they manage being mediocre at best. Hopefully this new place will have creative and thoughtfully-prepared dishes.

  4. Buying the former flying frog space…doesn’t farc already own that space? why buy it from there company?
    Agree with prior poster, lousy name. Plus I don’t recall the grove park in having good food..

  5. might be a rebirth … but that name will not do them any favors.

    It is very hard to draw folks down into a basement to eat, especially with little presence at street level …

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