After 10 ripe years in West Asheville, Tomato Cocina Latina closed last week.
Owner Dore Molina says his location in Westgate shopping center proved challenging in ways he didn’t anticipate. “One of the reasons I went there three years ago is because our concept is totally different than what Earthfare has,” he says. But dinnertime business has been slow, he says.
Before Westgate, Tomato spent seven years on Patton Avenue (where Rocky’s Hot Chicken Shack is now). Molina says he hasn’t decided whether the restaurant will have a third incarnation. “We’re going to take two or three months to figure out if we’re going to reopen somewhere else,” he says.
The restaurant has been a favorite haunt of Asheville’s salsa dancing contingent. Molina says he’s sure the dancers will find another place to gather. Aloft hotel’s WXYZ lounge hosted a Latin dance event in early February.