Rosetta’s Kitchen to add another floor and a liquor bar

After almost a decade of business, Rosetta’s Kitchen, the Lexington Avenue staple, is expanding in a big way.

You may have already heard that Rosetta Star is beginning a wholesale business with her veggie burgers and peanut butter tofu, which will be available in the frozen foods section of about 10 Earth Fare stores within a few weeks and is currently available in the French Broad Food Co-op.

UNCA has placed an order for Rosetta’s brand veggie burgers, which will be made available to students in the cafeteria’s burger bar, as well in a retail area for students to purchase for their dorms. Mission Hospitals and Park Ridge Hospital have also placed orders.

But the biggest news for the landscape of downtown Asheville is that Star and company are expanding Rosetta’s Kitchen. The restaurant is about to cover two stories and add a full liquor bar later this year.

J.C Maynard, the car-repair shop located below Rosetta’s Kitchen, has been in business for 47 years. Maynard, says Star, is retiring. Star and company will lay a new floor and resurface the walls. A street-level patio space will also be added, as well as a retractable garage door than opens for warm weather.

The new space will also give the restaurant’s staff more breathing room. For a decade, the employees have all crammed into one small production space where they make breads and baked goods, soups and dressings from scratch as well as serve a lot of mouths.

It’s clearly time to expand, Star says. She hopes to be able to fit the downstairs area with a ventilation hood to maximize the amount of tasks that can be carried out in the former garage. The restaurant will be fitted with a dumbwaiter so prepped food can be sent upstairs and finished orders can be sent downstairs.

“We’re still exploring all of the uses the space will be viable for,” Star says. “The only thing that we know that we’re going to use it for is an extended dining room and bar during dinner hours. We’ve wanted to put in a liquor bar for a long time. We’re really excited about making real tonic-style mixed drinks and, particularly for me, Buchi-ritas are my favorite, so we’ll have an array of kombucha cocktails.” It’s “where the block is,” says Star, who says that Lexington Avenue has become a relatively hopping area for nightlife — something it certainly wasn’t 10 years ago.

“It’s a great place to be for night culture,” Star says.

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