WALK (short for the West Asheville Lounge and Kitchen) is coming to Haywood Road, directly across the street from The Admiral, in the building that used to house the Rocket Club. The target opening date is in December.
The half-dozen business partners entering the venture, who range in age from 30 to 45, includes Brady Sleeper, owner of the Universal Joint. Some of the other partners are owners and managers of Boone Saloon in Boone, N.C. including Jenna Lowe, Matt Johnston, Sarah Coogan, Skip Sinanian and Chris Varipapa. Lowe says that the chief aim of the restaurant group is to create a comfortable, neighborhood-bar atmosphere, complete with two pool tables and a jukebox.
The kitchen will serve a mix of identifiable fare, from comfortable American to Southwestern cuisine. “We’re really aiming to do affordable, casual food that’s done well,” says Lowe. “We just want an enjoyable place for people to come hang out and eat and drink.”
A full bar will be offered, including a number of signature cocktails. Even so, Lowe says that the owners don’t plan to get too over the top with a complicated bar menu that would make the drinks too expensive or labor-intensive (which often translates to longer waits at the bar). “We just want it all to be simple, fresh and affordable.”
As far as construction goes, the owners have started from scratch, tearing down the bathrooms (they were once located just inside the front door for a bit of a feng shui nightmare) and moving them to the rear of the building. A new concrete-slab bar will also be built, and strategic lighting design will brighten up the space, as will the addition of a number of garage doors that will stay open in nice weather.
WALK will be open seven days a week and will likely offer brunch service on weekends.
“We’re working to make West Asheville an even better area,” Lowe says. “We hope to become another needed, good addition to the area. We’re getting really excited about it,” she says.
Here’s the future website: http://walkavl.com (right now, it’s just a placeholder).