Two icons of the local food scene closed for good this weekend.
After 52 years of business, Three Brothers Restaurant closed on July 1. The eatery was consistently named one of the top spots for Greek food in the Asheville area by Xpress readers in the annual Best of WNC poll. We spoke to one of the owners of Three Brothers after they tied with Apollo Flame Bistro for the title last year:
“…Three Brothers Restaurant has been open since way back in 1959. George Zourzoukis, one of the younger generation of owners, says that the key to success is all in the family. ‘We’re Greek, and we make a lot of our stuff, like our spanikopita and Greek pastries, from scratch. I think that makes a big difference.’
Zourzoukis says that Three Brothers originally started out as more of a diner, but that his ultimate goal is to make the menu 100-percent Greek. ‘I think that’s one thing that Asheville lacks,’ he says. Whatever the case, he’s very grateful for the continued patronage of the WNC community. ‘For all these years, we’ve really appreciated everyone’s support and continued loyalty,’ he says.’
The Barbecue Inn also closed its doors after many years. In a story called “Barbecue Blunders” from the Feb. 16 Xpress, Buncombe County Commissioner Bill Stanley credited the restaurant as the forefather of the Asheville ‘cue scene, before this side of North Carolina had much of an identity when it came to barbecue.
“To Stanley’s knowledge, the first barbecue joint of note in Asheville was the Barbecue Inn, Gus Kooles’ place out on Patton Avenue, opened in 1961 (and still going strong). ‘Gus advertised it as eastern North Carolina barbecue,’ says Stanley.”
According to an article in the Asheville Citizen-Times, the owners of The Barbecue Inn cited economic troubles as a major factor in the closing.