Jason Sandford

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

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An architectural rendering of the proposed Jetti Rae’s Seafood and Such restaurant being proposed for 144 Riverside Drive in the Asheville River Arts District.

An Asheville restaurant owner, a developer and a nonprofit have joined forces to develop a new restaurant they want to build on the banks of the French Broad River in the city’s River Arts District. The restaurant, called Jettie Rae’s Seafood and Such, will have a coastal seafood concept.

The proposed location is a 1.29-acre site at 144 Riverside Dr., across Riverside from the Cotton Mill Studios.

Eric Scheffer, owner of Vinnie’s Italian Neighborhood Restaurant in North Asheville, developer Jim Diaz who is currently developing the mixed-use Beacham’s Curve in West Asheville with a business partner, and RiverLink are working together on the restaurant project. Here’s a rundown:

-Plans for Jetti Rae’s restaurant call for a two-story, 5,500-square-foot building with a 1,100-square-foot open air pavilion and two Airstreams on site for additional food/beverage service. A 5,000-square-foot open lawn would provide access to the greenway that by the site. There are 36 parking spaces proposed.

-Architectural materials are proposed to include weathered wood, reclaimed metal siding, wood screening, local art imagery and signage, shipping container components, operable window walls and large sliding windows, according to the proposal.

-The building and site design intentionally activate all four sides of the property with outdoor dining and spaces to take in the river and greenway, according to the proposal. The street side façade has an entrance to the main level and an exposed stair leading to an upper level balcony and entrance adjacent to an operable window wall.

-Jetti Rae’s will welcome tubers and kayakers who arrive from the river or greenway, according to the proposal.

-Scheffer and Diaz held a community meeting at Wedge Brewing’s Foundation location on April 22. The next stop for the proposal is the city’s Technical Review Committee.

-The project is proposed as a public-private partnership with the nonprofit RiverLink. The developers say they’ve agreed to “provide RiverLink a reoccurring revenue source and expand public awareness of RiverLink’s mission. We will accomplish this through various fund raising activities and annual events to benefit RiverLink and its efforts to continuously improve the French Broad River.”

Jason Sandford

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

  • 1

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  1. David June 25, 2019

    I hope this project works out. Probably need the buy-in of the original donors whose intent was to keep that space a greenway. Wilma Dykeman RiverWay Plan.

  2. john Root June 19, 2019

    Who owns the land? Was it supposed to be a conservation easement of some sort? Does River Link really need a restaurant to host annual events and “various” fund raising activities? Sounds and smells too fishy to me!

  3. Jan Schochet June 18, 2019


  4. Doug May 15, 2019

    Good thing the plan addresses that then

  5. Brooke May 15, 2019

    Good thing flooding will not be an issue in the future… oh wait.


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