The Magnetic Field bar and café prepares to close

The Magnetic Field is scaling back its attractions. The bar and café will close after Dec. 22., but the performance house will remain. You can still see performances there, but there won’t be food or booze.

For two years, the eatery has been a force for craft cocktails and creative eats. When The Magnetic Field opened in 2010, owner and producer Chall Gray hoped the restaurant would lend financial support to the theater. “We always have had it set up as a synergistic relationship between the two businesses, where the restaurant would be able to service the patrons of the theater, and the theater patrons would bring traffic to the restaurant,” he says.

Two years after opening, the Magnetic Theatre is growing, Gray says. Ticket pre-sales are the best in the theater’s history for the upcoming play, The 30th Annual Bernstein Family Christmas Spectacular, he adds. It’s not that the theater has outgrown the restaurant, Gray says; rather, the theater is strong enough to operate independently. “Now the theater has grown and burgeoned to the extent that it’s going to have its own space,” he says.

Chef Liam Luttrell-Rowland will move on to The Admiral, while Chef Jason Rowland is still “exploring his options,” according to Gray.

Gray says he’s pleased with his time as a restaurant owner in the River Arts District, and he expects a new restaurant will rent the café space.“The district as a whole is a really fantastic area that promotes the type of creativity and embraces the type of creativity that we do,” he says. “It’s the perfect home for us.”

Mountain Housing Opportunities, a nonprofit focused on community development, manages the restaurant property. Cindy Weeks, Rental Development Manager, says the nonprofit is looking for an appropriate tenant for the space.“We’re just going to take a little time and make sure we get a good fit for the theater,” she says. “It’s been upfit as a restaurant and bar space, and it will continue as that under a new business owner.”


Thanks for reading through to the end…

We share your inclination to get the whole story. For the past 25 years, Xpress has been committed to in-depth, balanced reporting about the greater Asheville area. We want everyone to have access to our stories. That’s a big part of why we've never charged for the paper or put up a paywall.

We’re pretty sure that you know journalism faces big challenges these days. Advertising no longer pays the whole cost. Media outlets around the country are asking their readers to chip in. Xpress needs help, too. We hope you’ll consider signing up to be a member of Xpress. For as little as $5 a month — the cost of a craft beer or kombucha — you can help keep local journalism strong. It only takes a moment.

Before you comment

The comments section is here to provide a platform for civil dialogue on the issues we face together as a local community. Xpress is committed to offering this platform for all voices, but when the tone of the discussion gets nasty or strays off topic, we believe many people choose not to participate. Xpress editors are determined to moderate comments to ensure a constructive interchange is maintained. All comments judged not to be in keeping with the spirit of civil discourse will be removed and repeat violators will be banned. See here for our terms of service. Thank you for being part of this effort to promote respectful discussion.

Leave a Reply

To leave a reply you may Login with your Mountain Xpress account, connect socially or enter your name and e-mail. Your e-mail address will not be published. All fields are required.