Buffalo Nickel to close for good April 30

West Asheville's Buffalo Nickel will close at the end of the month. A new restaurant is set to open in its space. Photo by East Branch Photography, courtesy of Buffalo Nickel

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.

About Jonathan Ammons
Native Asheville writer, eater, drinker, bartender and musician. Proprietor of www.dirty-spoon.com Follow me @jonathanammons

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4 thoughts on “Buffalo Nickel to close for good April 30

  1. Jason

    Love this place! Although from a marketing perspective; a little to posh for the West Asheville market.
    Before you say; “what about ISIS!?”
    ISIS is a world class venue and wouldn’t likely survive if it didnt have concerts and adding to its revenue …

  2. luther blissett

    I’ve enjoyed the couple of times I’ve eaten at Buffalo Nickel, but the difference between the upstairs and downstairs atmosphere was weird. Also hard to look past how it was a “concept” restaurant that, by taking the place of Taqueria Gonzalez, embodied a lot of the gentrification going on at that time on Haywood. (Please don’t let the new “concept” be another upscale taco place.)

  3. BMacAVL

    @luther blissett; I’m with you on it better not be another freakin’ upscale taco joint like what has all but taken over downtown already!!!! I truly enjoyed dining and hanging out watching sports/playing games at Buffalo Nickel…sad to see it go:( Especially during football season since W. Asheville doesn’t have all that may spots with enough TVs to watch multiple games.

    I really hope the new place keeps the game section and sports bar vibe upstairs(downstairs was weird especially when walking down to hang out with my friends that smoke on the smallest outside patio ever…kinda felt like a walk of shame coming back through all the folks enjoying dinner during peak hours but then again who really cares since we all subconsciously judge and are judged by others. Like all living things…we are hard-wired to make judgments about everything in our environment for adaptation and survival. Cheers Y’all!

  4. archie

    HAHA ! surprised it was open that long. Food was actually really good but small menu. Weird concept with the upstairs and downstairs so different. Owners and management sucked. No people skills and the place ran itself, poorly.

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