Small Bites

The return of Mr. Gene: Much to the delight of his fans, former downtown restaurateur Otis “Mr. Gene” Keaton has reopened Mr. Gene’s Family Restaurant at a new location, 1500 Tunnel Road. From 2001 to 2003, he ran the establishment on Eagle Street; since then, he’s taken a bit of a sabbatical. Now, Mr. Gene’s is back with the kind of authentic country cooking that you can only find in a small, independently run establishment. Hearty sandwiches, classic side dishes, family meal packages and more await. The restaurant serves lunch and dinner every day except for Sunday. For more information, call (828) 210-1900.

Zip into 28803: Come June 6, 28803 will mean more to Ashevilleans than just another ZIP code. That’s because Peter Affatato and Eric Backer of 28806 Deli, Bakery, Caterers in West Asheville are branching out and adding another location featuring their well-regarded sandwiches, pizzas, salads and pastries. The 28803 Deli, located in the Skyland Crest Shopping Center at 1950 Hendersonville Road, will be open Monday-Saturday from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Call (828) 681-1777 for more information.

Through the grapevine: The staff of Vincenzo’s Ristorante and Bistro has been scouring Italy for fine-dining fare to serve up in Asheville, and now the restaurant is passing on what it’s learned about the fruit of the vine. “As the result of these visits, we have recently revised our wine list and trained our staff to reveal the mysteries and joys of the wines of Italy,” says a recent Vincenzo’s announcement. “We now have the best selection of Italian wines in the history of our restaurant,” adds owner Dwight Butner. “It is undoubtedly one of the most complete Italian selections in Western North Carolina.” For directions and reservations, call (828) 254-4698 or visit


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