Tingles Cafe is closed

According to Lesley Groetsch, who owns Sazerac and Tingles with her husband, Jack, a financial business partner in Tingles has decided to close the restaurant.

Groetsch says that the restaurant will reopen in the same space with a different format and complete re-branding (including a new name) in approximately three weeks, but the plan has not yet been solidified or clearly laid out to her.

“It comes as a shock to us,” says Groetsch. “We were getting glowing feedback from guests and our employees are like family, so it’s hard for us to watch them go through this.”

Groetsch says that, in response to customer feedback, the Tingles restaurant management was in the process of lowering prices and removing some of the less profitable items. “This economy has been tough on people, so were were working to respond to that,” says Groetsch who adds that the quick change in format seems slightly puzzling to her.

Groetsch says that she and her husband’s future role in the business is unclear. “But we’re still here and we will roll with this.” She adds that the free time will enable her to focus more on her radio career, as co-host of Local Edge Radio on 880 The Revolution. She also says that chef Zeb McDermott, who has been at the helm of both Sazerac and Tingles for the past year, will be able to “spread his wings” and has some new plans for the menu at Sazerac.

Never one to lose her sense of humor, Groetsch says that her major regret is that Tingles mascot Jingles the cow “will no longer be tweeting.”

There is no word yet on what the new restaurant will be.

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18 thoughts on “Tingles Cafe is closed

  1. LOKEL

    I’m sure Dwight Butner will accuse the demise of this “so-so diner” on a FOOD TRUCK.

  2. SuckIt

    This ‘financial business partner’ apparently doesn’t know the restaurant business very well.

    Also, this royally screwed up my plans for this weekend, as we had reservations for a party of 12 upstairs at Tingles, which never bothered to call us. Thank goodness I read MountainX, or would’ve never known. Tell your business partner he caused you to lose a loyal customer.

  3. LOLcal

    This restaurant had a great concept, but the food was never good. It was overpriced and bland at best. I wonder how many more restaurants will open in a down economy and then scratch their heads as they figure out what went wrong.

  4. Jason Ross Martin

    Food trucks are just a scam for some people to try to devalue the economy in downtown because they lack the financial power to actual have a restaurant. For some of you to scoff at yet another closing and invoke food trucks just shows how little you understand about what has built the downtown in our city.

    Food trucks MUST continue to be banned in downtown Asheville. Pay the appropriate taxes like the rest of the business owners. Find a suitable location. Be forced to comply with crucial regulations about sanitation and the impact on the town. Save up your money and have a restaurant. Don’t act entitled to circumvent the past decades of gradual progress that leads to tourism. Food trucks are a shortcut, plain and simple.

    Food truck advocates don’t really care about Asheville. They are just looking for a cheap buck. We don’t need downtown to look like a fairgrounds. There’s already no place to park!

  5. Jennifer

    I am sad, we wanted to but never did eat there because it was always about $3 out of our budget… guess that was the problem. I wish it had been closer in price to Mike’s on Main Street in Hendersonville with a local food spin.

  6. laughingoutloud

    I am going to miss Tingles too. I will continue to follow Jingles on Twitter; now I will go drown my sorrows at Sazarac, the best cocktail lounge around.

  7. Chip Kaufmann

    I am sorry to see Tingle’s close but I am not that surprised. Almost everything on their menu could be gotten at the J&S Cafeterias for half the price or less.
    I find it curious that one partner could have shut Tingle’s down and propose changes without the other two being part of it. It will be very interesting to see what the makeover will be like. Hopefully it will be more sensibly priced. We should know by the end of the month.
    What Asheville really needs is for the S & W to return to its roots as a cafeteria or have something similar open up downtown that will be able to offer affordable food to everyone.

  8. Media Watcher

    Should the reporter have tried to interview Eric Booker?

  9. Chip Kaufmann

    Sorry about the apostrophes. That would have been the place Alvis Tingle first opened in 1918 which lasted until the 1940s before moving to Patton Ave. This Tingles lasted less than a year having opened its doors on 6/29/10.

  10. dpewen

    Never ate at Tingles but love Sazerac … seems like Lesley and Jack might be streached a bit thin!

  11. Gabriel Shaffer

    “Food trucks are just a scam for some people to try to devalue the economy in downtown because they lack the financial power to actual have a restaurant.”
    Thats right jason, its a scam. My wife is only concerned with depreciating your precious downtowns property value, not creating her own business. You figured us out. Your also correct, only those with the money should have opportunities in life. that sounds like a great system.

  12. bill smith

    “Food trucks MUST continue to be banned in downtown Asheville. ”

    Why? Paying overhead for a building is somehow the ‘right’ way to do it?

    Your reasoning is absurd.

  13. Voltro

    We only ate at Tingles once. We thought the menu was imaginative and reasonably priced. We were the only patrons in the joint at prime dinnertime, and wondered how the place could cover its overhead.

    As far as the food truck issue is concerned, I think the market should be allowed to decide what it can bear. The claim that food trucks will somehow devalue the downtown restaurant scene seems absurd. While food is the primary component, it is only a part of the entire sit down dining experience.

    Other cities regulate food truck vendors quite easily, Asheville should be able to do the same.

    I would like more late-night apres’ bar options, and I’m sure there are others who would also. Right now there are precious few.

  14. Ashevegasjoe

    I don’t trust some small time, local joint. Gimme Applebys for me and my childrin. Food trux suk

  15. mule

    I seriously doubt that unaffiliatedvoter and his mom’s boycott of Tingles really made that much of a difference.

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