The past year has been rough for West Asheville restaurants, with Bandidos, The Barleycorn and Mama’s Fast Foods turning off the lights for good. Another name can be added to that list, although the ownership insists the causes are not financial.
After a Facebook announcement on Monday, April 24, Buffalo Nickel owner Lynn Foster confirmed on Tuesday, April 25, that her Haywood Road eatery will close at the end of the month. “We were approached by a restaurateur who loves the space and wants to do a different concept,” she says, adding, “I’ve been wanting to retire, so the timing was right.”
Buffalo Nickel opened in March 2014 serving a spread of American classics such as pierogies and pot pies with a haute cuisine riff downstairs, while the upstairs sported pool tables, big screen TVs and a neighborhood pub feel. After the departure of founding chef Ryan Kline, chef John Bausone took over for a brief stint at the helm in August of 2016, steering the kitchen in the direction of approachable yet not necessarily predictable American cuisine.
The space has become known as a popular spot for sports viewers and has hosted Kipper Schauer’s Kipper’s Totally Rad Trivia nights weekly. Schauer gave the first clue to the public about the pub’s closure in a note he posted to Reddit on Monday, April 24: “This weekend I was informed that Buffalo Nickel in West Asheville will be shutting its doors this coming Sunday. The business has been sold and will be shutting down for quite some time for restructuring, remodeling, rebranding and all other sorts of re’s.”
Further information from Foster about the sale and closing are not yet available as she is currently working on a statement and thank you to share with regulars and staff. “I wanted to tell staff as soon as possible, and I told them first — even before my kids,” she says. “The new place will be a great fit to west Asheville, but I promised to let them come forward on their own terms when they felt the time was right.”
The story will be updated with additional details as they come in.