Since it first opened in 1995, Burgermeister's has forged new territory for Asheville restaurants. It closed Saturday, July 13, but could reopen somewhere else, says co-owner Tom Gaddy.
The restaurant started as a burger counter downtown when other storefronts were empty. Then, Gaddy took a few years' break from the business before reopening in nascent West Asheville in 2003.
“We knew [West Asheville] would be like it is now,” Gaddy says. “We started with nothing, and now you have almost everything you need on this side of town.”
The restaurant has won Best Burger in Xpress’ Best of WNC poll for the past 8 years.
Gaddy and his business partner, Chantal Saunders, sold the lease on the space to two brothers from Florida, who plan to open a gastropub, Gaddy says. The space is turnkey, and he expects news of the gastropub will be released soon.
“We thought it was time to take a break for a hot minute,” Gaddy says. “You do one, and you build it, and you get good at it, and sometimes you sell it off.”
Gaddy says business has been good, and some regulars don't understand why the restaurant is closing. “People felt attached to it, like it's theirs,” he says. “When you do shut down, and you leave, you've got to thank them.”