ASHEVILLE – The S&W Market, Asheville’s first food hall, has announced plans to open to the public June 16 at 11:30 a.m. The collection of independent restaurants and beverage purveyors takes over the iconic S&W Building at 56 Patton Ave.
Built in 1929, the historic downtown building was designed by architect Douglas Ellington and remains a showcase of classic art deco beauty and intricate architectural details. In 2017, the building was purchased by Ellington’s two nephews, Douglas and Kenneth Ellington, of Ellington Realty Group.
Five-time James Beard Award nominee Meherwan Irani of Chai Pani Restaurant Group is the project’s culinary consultant. With The Ellington Realty Group, Irani curated the food hall’s culinary lineup.
“We knew we needed a concept that opened this special building to all, and the S&W Market does just that,” Irani said.
Here’s what to expect from Asheville’s first food hall:
Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the S&W Building began its life as a home for the S&W Cafeteria, locally famous for quick service food in an upscale environment.
A revamped interior will seek to evoke the same energy of the original S&W, with the buzz beginning on expanded sidewalk seating along the building’s front. Architect Diana Bellgowan was the design lead on the project.
The main level of the food hall will have community seating for up to 65 guests, with standing tables for up to 20 more. There will be 100 seats on the mezzanine and an additional 40 seats on the outdoor patio.
The food hall covers 10,000 square feet between the mezzanine level and main floor, with an additional 5,000 square feet in S&W’s new event space, Circa 29.
On the main level, customers will find an open-air space with numerous food stalls and a cocktail and coffee bar. The mezzanine boasts a beer bar. Here are the details:
The list of vendors
Bun Intended: Erica Glaubitz, Kyle and Carter James, Cody Burchett and Gordon Gibbs will launch their first brick-and-mortar location at S&W. The Thai street food menu will feature dishes like Hickory Nut Gap pork belly bao, build your own bowls and traditional snacks and sides, including som tum salad and and larb gai with minced chicken and sticky rice.
Buxton Chicken Palace: Irani and Buxton Hall chef-partner and pitmaster Elliott Moss will open this ode to Buxton Hall’s iconic fried chicken sandwich. Other menu highlights include a fried chicken salad sandwich, waffle fries seasoned with Spicewalla spice blends and house-made dipping sauces.
Farm Dogs: This new concept comes from George Frangos and Jason Mann of Farm Burger, which has two locations in Asheville and others in Atlanta. Chef Cameron Thompson will lead the kitchen at Farm Dogs, which will feature local, grass-fed hot dogs, handcrafted sausages and locally-made pretzels.
Highland Brewing Company at The S&W Market: This brewery makes its return to downtown Asheville where it first launched 25 years ago. Expect a mezzanine-level bar with an expanded lineup of Highland’s small batch and barrel-aged beer and a smaller quick-service bar on the first floor.
Hop Ice Cream S&W: This will be owners Ashley and Greg Garrison’s first downtown location. The menu features homemade dairy and vegan ice creams, classic milkshakes, sundaes, desserts and made-from-scratch waffle cones. Expect flagship flavors as well as collaborations with S&W restaurants.
Peace Love Tacos: This restaurant comes from Paige and Danny Scully of Mountain Madre Mexican Kitchen & Agave Bar in downtown Asheville. Expect tacos and taco-adjacent dishes — taco salads, street corn, nachos and the like — made with responsibly-sourced meats and vegetables.
The Times Bar: This craft cocktail bar sits adjacent to the main S&W Market space and shares a patio. This source for creative and seasonally inspired craft cocktails also has a craft coffee menu that’s worth a look.
Circa 29: This S&W Market event space for up to 150 people will open in conjunction with the food hall. The downstairs location has a speakeasy-style vibe and its own bar. Circa 29 will be available for private events in the coming months.
IF YOU GO
What: The S&W Market
Where: 56 Patton Ave.
Opening day: June 16.
June hours: 11:30 a.m.-10 p.m., Wednesday-Saturday; noon-8 p.m. Sunday. Closed Monday and Tuesday.
July hours: 11:30 a.m.-10 p.m., Monday-Saturday; noon-8 p.m. Sunday.
More: www.swmarketavl.com; Instagram @swasheville; Facebook SWMarketAVL.
Mackensy Lunsford has lived in Asheville for more than 20 years, and has been a staff writer for the Asheville Citizen Times since 2012. Lunsford is a former professional line cook and one-time restaurant owner.
Reach me: [email protected].