Filo, a favorite sweet and savory hangout for East Asheville residents, underwent some major renovations over the past few weeks and will now offer later hours, bar-top seating and an expanded menu. “We really wanted to give people on this side of town a place where they have something a little more upscale to do,” says manager Emilios Papanastasiou.
Revered for its sumptuous desserts, the Greek-style café reopened for business on Saturday, June 20, complete with a new vision and a liquor license. “We wanted to focus on giving people a neighborhood bar where they can come and relax a little bit. Coffee shop by day and a cocktail lounge by night,” says Papanastasiou.
Adding an evening tapas spread will prove to be an intricate endeavor, “It is a hat trick with a full pastry kitchen in the back and then trying to include dinner items,” says Papanastasiou. From 5 p.m. on, Filo will transform into an upscale lounge featuring small plates, desserts, cocktails and wine in addition to the vast coffee menu.
With the growing season in full swing, Filo is pulling fresh ingredients from the eatery’s thriving on-site garden. “You really can’t get that kind of quality when you are ordering wholesale from a distributor,” Papanastasiou says when asked about utilizing the garden harvest. “I’m using a ton of the stuff out there in some of the cocktails. So, the mint back there, it takes me half as much mint [to complete a recipe], and it’s twice as good, because it’s literally getting picked half an hour before I use it.” Freshly harvested produce will grace several menu items, including a broad selection of wood-fired pizzas.
Traditional Greek dishes such as souvlakia and saganaki will be showcased on the innovative dinner menu, and the bulk of the fare will possess a European flair. “We are going to do Greek cheeses or things that are a little bit more traditional to what Maria has grown up with, what my father has grown up with and what I have grown up with,” says Papanastasiou.
“We’ve got such a great clientele here, and I think that they are really going to embrace this. Once they know we’re here, they are going to start coming out and staying a little later.”