Despite the coronavirus' impact on the industry, some new Asheville restaurants and culinary offerings are still forging ahead.
- A food hall with history opens as Asheville’s iconic Art Deco masterpiece S&W Building, considered one of architect Douglas Ellington’s most refined projects, gets new life. Chef Meherwan Irani (Chai Pani Restaurant Group and James Beard-nominated chef) and Highland Brewing Company (Asheville’s oldest brewery run by Leah Wong Ashburn, a James Beard nominee for “Outstanding Wine, Beer, or Spirits Professional”) open S&W Market in late fall. Irani will select restaurants to fill the food stalls (Thai food truck Bun Intended is the first to sign on), and Highland will offer bars on both levels among the building’s Art Deco details.
- Chef Jacob Sessoms, Asheville’s original James Beard semifinalist (2010) and an innovator of Asheville’s modern take on Appalachian cuisine, has moved his restaurant Table to make way for El Gallo AVL, with tacos and sandwiches by day and market-driven Mexican plates at night by Chef Luis Martinez. Sessoms will soon open Table Right Here nearby with Right There Bar, a burger bar, opening in the same building.
- Asheville’s historic Grove Arcade building, with retail, dining and residential space, is welcoming three new food concepts. Asheville Proper is a fresh take on the classic steakhouse, centering around live-fire cooking and a locally sourced seasonal menu. James Beard-nominated Chef Meherwan Irani is also planning an Indian eatery in the building, and the new Bebette’s New Orleans Coffee House will serve a French Creole-style breakfast and lunch.
- Ashe Hole Doughnuts and Coffee started as a mobile doughnut truck and has now expanded to a brick-and-mortar shop. Founded by Chef Gene Ettison, who has worked in some of Asheville‘s top restaurants, the shop offers made-to-order doughnuts with flavors such as French toast, peanut butter cup and cookies n’ coffee.
- Jettie Rae’s Oyster House opened just north of downtown this summer, offering a raw bar with oysters, clams and daily ceviche; tin fish selections like mussels and sardines with house-made chips and chili sauce; and a variety of fresh fish plates.
- Newly opened in Asheville’s South Slope beer district, Wehrloom Taproom is a boutique honey shop with mead bar. The business originated in nearby Robbinsville where the Wehr family harvests honey and makes their own mead, soaps, lip balms and more.
Information on the safety actions of local businesses and shared responsibility of visitors can be found via the “Asheville Cares Stay Safe Pledge.”