The Biltmore Coffee Co. opened on Aug. 1 at 1 N. Pack Square, on the ground floor of the I.M. Pei-designed building that houses Biltmore's corporate offices and Merrill Lynch.
"What makes us unique is everyone here worked at the Biltmore Estate," says Clorietha Fenton, the café's general manager. "We brought our quality and our standards and our hospitality to downtown Asheville."
The shop features sleek, comfortable seating and broad windows that offer generous views of Pack Square. Fenton hopes the café can be a place for "working people to have a nice, upscale coffee shop to enjoy themselves and have a meeting space."
For lunch, Biltmore Coffee Co. offers a variety of chef-made items, including the steak and blue cheese salad, creamy lobster and bacon dip and a sandwich labeled “The BOSS,” with sliced beef tenderloin, brie, roasted onions, tomatoes, arugula and red pepper horseradish aioli on grilled focaccia bread. Baked goods made in-house tempt customers as they place their orders.
For those who want to avoid the lure of pastries (or simply want to order in advance), Biltmore Coffee Co. accepts orders online at http://biltmorecoffeeco.com; the site is compatible with most smart phones.
Fenton said she was pleased with the turnout at the opening, although the breakfast crowd was a bit sparse. She says that the café is on its way to achieving her goal: Having “everyone leave and say, 'Oh my god, I want to go there again tomorrow.'”
Biltmore Coffee Co. is open from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday through Friday. For more information, visit http://biltmorecoffeeco.com or call 225-6222. — Megan Dombroski