julie_stehling1King Daddy’s Chicken & Waffles, a new restaurant by the owners of the popular downtown Early Girl Cafe, is headed for 444 Haywood Road in West Asheville. The location is a 1920s-era building that’s been newly renovated by owners Austin Walker, Sam Walker and Russ Towers. It’s near the corner of Haywood Road and its intersection with Interstate 240. (Towers also owns the outdoor consignment shop Second Gear in the same building.)

Earlier this year, Julie and John Stehling announced their intentions to open a chicken and waffle joint and said they were looking at a South Slope that location. But that deal fell through. They told Asheville Scene recently that they were looking for a new location.

On Tuesday, Julie Stehling said she signed a lease Friday for the new Haywood Road location. The space will have an outdoor patio, a late-night drive-through window and a full bar and should be open around December.

Stehling, who said she wanted to open Early Girl in West Asheville, added that she’s excited to be part of the West Asheville community.

“I like the community there. You get to have a really strong local base if you do things right,” Stehling said, adding that she’s got a ton of respect for the owners of other established businesses such as the Westend Bakery and The Admiral.

King Daddy’ will be the lastest in a wave of West Asheville restaurant activity. Biscuit Head recently opened at 733 Haywood Road, and two other restaurants are in the works at the former Taqueria Gonzalez location – the owners of the popular Nine Mile restaurant in Montford are reportedly planning something, as are the owners of the Asheville Sandwhich Company.

Image link for Julie Stehling.



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  2. Replying to Scott Owen’s comment – As a co-owner of the building, it’s my understanding that King Daddy’s plans to have a later evening “pick-up” window, not a “drive-thru” window.

  3. Scott Owen says:

    It would be a shame to not start your restaurant out on the right foot. In West Asheville a very large portion of the community is doing what it can to reduce traffic and the general inclination towards automobile traffic. Opening a restaurant that serves via a drive-thru window sets a very bad precedent on this street which currently has “0” drive-thru restaurants. Haywood St. is not only fabulous because of it’s restaurants, it’s also special because the restaurants it has do not have any drive-thru windows. Please consider not setting our community backwards by starting a business with a drive-thru window on Haywood. I personally will speak out against it and I’m sure others would join me in that once the word was out. We don’t want or need another battle between socially conscious neighbors. The choice is yours.

  4. Well knowing how popular CFA and King Daddy’s Chicken & Waffles is, and is going to be I guess there will be a parking issue at peak times. Doesn’t matter to me because I would walk ten miles for Chicken & Waffles and a good place to do Crossfit.

  5. Julie and John are two great people. The early Girl has been one of my favorite places to get my munch on, for years in Asheville. I can’t wait to try out Chicken and waffles. Love all you guys( and gals) at the early girl. Keep up the great jod

  6. Welcome to the neighborhood! Can’t wait.

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  8. please will they have vegetarian chicken and waffles 🙂

  9. “You get to have a really strong local base if you do things right.”

    Doing things right, FYI, includes you and John treating and paying workers fairly–we’ll be watching. That’s all I’ll say about that for now.

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