It’s been awhile, but it looks like another restaurant will finally open in the King James building on Charlotte Street. The space’s previous occupant, the beloved neighborhood eatery and bar King James Public House, was shuttered rather suddenly in January to make way for an expansion of the Charlotte-based Dressler’s Restaurant, a white tablecloth steakhouse. Those plans seem to have fallen through, however, and now a new locally spun venture called Bone & Broth is moving in.
Former King James Public House chef Steven Goff, who now owns Brinehaus Meat + Provisions in the Raleigh area, was dedicated to sourcing ingredients locally. He created a menu that focused on using every part of the animal, featuring jars of pâtés and terrines, duck wings and a variety of alternative cuts of meat. Eventually, a burger was added, as well as fried chicken and other familiar pub grub. Bone & Broth will maintain the pub theme, but with a slightly different culinary tack.
“We want to be the village pub, kind of like what King James was,” says co-owner Kim Murray. “We just want to have a little more approachable menu, and we want to utilize the fact that we are in a community.”
The menu, Murray says, is still being developed, but it looks to be appealing to carnivores. “It’s going to be heavy on the meat, but we’re still going to be pub-ish. There’s going to be a burger, and there will be bangers and mash, fish and chips, but we’ll be utilizing local ingredients as much as possible.”
London broil, trout and bone-in chicken will also be on the menu, as well as a rotating variety of bone broths that are the restaurant’s namesake. The Bone & Broth kitchen will be led by chef Jay Medford, an Asheville native who recently returned after six years in New York City, where he graduated from the French Culinary Institute. “We just want to keep it superhumble and community-based,” Medford says.
While ingredients like cod will certainly be sourced elsewhere, Murray plans to use as many local products as possible, which makes Bone & Broth’s location convenient. “We are sandwiched between a baker and a butcher, so we’re going to [take advantage of] that by having City Bakery breads and whole and half animals from the Chop Shop.”
And Bone & Broth will be taking that neighborly mentality a step further. The restaurant will absorb the center area of the building, which operated as a knickknack store during King James Public House’s time. The space will now serve as an expanded seating area for City Bakery during the day and will be part of Bone & Broth in the evenings. A beautiful barred wooden gate separates the bar from the extended dining room, where Murray hopes to develop a small lounge with couches and coffee tables in the corner, in addition to the already existing large, intricately crafted community tables. With the expansion, the venue will have more than 90 seats.
Wayne Norton, previously of King James Public House, has been brought on board as bar manager, and Cordial & Craft’s Hank Fuseler is consulting on the cocktail program.
Murray is no stranger to the Asheville culinary scene — she spent many years as a co-owner of the Lobster Trap and has worked with Luella’s Bar-B-Que and Eating Asheville tours. She is partnering with the building’s owner, Kirk Boone, and Chop Shop co-owner Joe Henderson, on Bone & Broth, but she says she plans to buy them out once the business gets rolling. Murray hopes to have the restaurant open by mid-August. “It’s really a hurry-up-and-wait game with all that needs to be done, but we’re starting to get excited,” she says.