white_duck_taco_2014The owners of the uber popular White Duck Taco restaurant in the River Arts District are targeting downtown Asheville for their second taco shop. Let’s call it WDII. They’ve taken preliminary steps to take over the former Circle in the Square location at 12 Biltmore  Ave.

Ben Mixson and Laura Reuss had an instant hit on their hands when they opened White Duck Taco in 2011. Folks line up out the door to get delicious fish tacos, steak tacos, chipotle crema, mushroom and goat cheese tacos. In an email on Tuesday afternoon, Ben wrote to tell me that the downtown Duck is an “idea and not a reality at this point.” He tells me that Pizza Pura is doing great, and that the James Island shop construction is behind schedule.

Last year, they announced a South Carolina location for White Duck. Their James Island, S.C., taco shop is scheduled to open sometime this year. Also last year, the two opened Pizza Pura in the River Arts District. The Depot Street eatery features Neapolitan-style pie.

Update: On Monday, March 3, Mackensy Lunsford reported the following for the Asheville Citizen-Times:

On Monday, owner Ben Mixson signed the lease for 12 Biltmore Avenue in downtown Asheville and expects to open a restaurant there in early spring.

“We still have a lot to do, but we’ll move pretty fast,” he said. “There’s a lot of things that have to be figured out.”

Mixson said the fact that the building is in good shape — it housed Circle in the Square until last month — will make the project run faster. “Normally, it’s an abandoned wood shop or chicken hatchery,” he said, laughing.

Image link for White Duck Taco.



  1. That location certainly did wonders for Harry’s Bagels and Circle in the Square.

  2. I love tacos just as much as the next person, especially white duck. However, I think we have reached critical taco mass.

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