Small Bites: The White Duck takes a break

Duck Tales: Jon Hency helps hold it all together at the White Duck Taco Shop. Hency and restaurant owners Ben Mixson and Laura Reuss will get a much-needed break this winter when the popular taco joint closes until late January. Photo by Bill Rhodes

Asheville taco fans, we have some bad news for you — at least temporarily. The White Duck Taco Shop is no longer open at 4 p.m. on weeknights, and it’s even going to close for a month starting Dec. 24.

“We need to get back ahead of our business,” says Ben Mixson, who owns the restaurant with his wife, chef Laura Reuss. “We have been much busier than we thought and need time to rest and get caught up organizationally. There are lots of details and variables, particularly since this is our first restaurant.”

Mixson and Reuss are no strangers to the restaurant world; Reuss is a classically trained chef and Mixson is a former Jean-Georges Vongerichten sommelier. But they’ve finally broken into a world where they can call the shots. 

“In the hospitality world, you are expected to sweat through the holidays while everyone else is enjoying themselves, and it's our turn to relax and enjoy the holidays with our families,” says Mixson.

More importantly, says Mixson, “We’re restricting our winter hours so we can focus primarily on the White Duck and give us a chance to evaluate future opportunities.” Perhaps most importantly of all? “Chef [Reuss] has her heart set on snorkeling for two weeks in the Caribbean,” says Mixson.

The White Duck Taco Shop will be closed on Saturday, Dec. 24 through Sunday, Jan. 22. Hours until then are Monday through Thursday, 11:30 a.m. through 4 p.m., Friday and Saturday, 11:30 a.m. through 8:30 p.m.


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