Two new restaurants will open in former Taqueria Gonzalez space

First, a moment of silence for Taqueria Gonzalez. The West Asheville hole-in-the-wall is no more. It closed at the beginning of June.

Despite its Haywood Road frontage, Gonzalez had all the charms of a secret spot. There was no menu, and if you didn’t speak Spanish, you ordered by pointing. The tortillas were made to order; the tacos were flavorful; the meals were no-frills but affordable.

Looking ahead, the former taqueria promises to harbor delicious eats once more. In fact, owner Rob Foster is renovating the space to hold two restaurants and about 2,100 square feet of office space.

If the leases go as planned, the new tenants at 747 and 751 Haywood won’t be unfamiliar: They already own nearby restaurants.

The owners of Asheville Sandwich on State Street, Brian and Tom Good and Lawrence Perkins, are designing a new concept for the space. “I don’t really feel comfortable saying what yet,” Brian says. “We’re going to have a lot of fun there.”

Next door, the folks behind Nine Mile are getting a lease together. Aaron Thomas, chef and co-owner of the Montford spot, says there’s no ink on the deal just yet, but he’ll keep Xpress updated. “You can mention it,” he says. “We haven’t signed a true lease yet; it’s kind of like a handshake and ‘yes,’ but it’s not official. It’s close.”


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.

10 thoughts on “Two new restaurants will open in former Taqueria Gonzalez space

  1. Roger Hartley

    Gonzales is a real cultural loss. If this was due to increasing rents… Then we must all pause. We can easily drive out good local biz and diversity that way.

  2. Yeppers

    With all due respect, this reporting misses the mark. The story here is that a long time family-owned business catering to an underserved community is being pushed out to make space for two restaurants serving different populations.

    Gentrification sucks, especially when glossed over :(

    • LostIn

      I spoke with the owner of Taqueria Gonzalez last weekend and she said that they’re looking for another space to rent. The landlords did indeed tell her that they want to renovate the space and raise the rent. She didn’t say one bad thing about the landlords and said lots of wonderful things about her customers. There will be an announcement in La Voz when she finds a new space for her taqueria. I hope Xpress keeps up with their move! Taqueria Gonzalez was an established business with a loyal customer base in the Spanish speaking and English speaking community. Their food was amazing and it was all made onsite. I hope they find a new spot soon!

  3. Big Al

    No sympathy here. If you did not speak Spanish, you did not know what (or how) to order there. A couple of new and improved eateries will only improve West Asheville.

  4. Avlfoodie

    Again with all due respect, it’is not just West Asheville experiencing urban renewal and change. The south slope downtown and the River Arts District are seeing major changes as well. I never patronized Gonzales, but I will certainly dine at Nine Mile and Asheville Sandwich.

    • indy499

      The South Slope is a different situation—-virtually deserted except for Green man. Prospect, Fr Broad chocolate and the hardware store.

  5. boatrocker

    Gosh, if only I could find a restaurant on Haywood Rd.

    As for not speaking Spanish, there’s always ‘point and smile while mumbling’. It’s gotten me quite far in life.

  6. Jason Williams

    Back in the late ’80’s and early 90’s West Asheville was commonly referred to as “Little Mexico.” West Asheville had low cost housing and a small but thriving community of Hispanic denizens, possible anchored by long established businesses such as Jose and Delores’ restaurant where Dustin Spagnola’s studio now is. There were several Tiendas along Haywood, including the one that housed Taqueria Gonzalez which was one of the first somewhere around ’90 or ’91. The Hispanic community thrived so well in West Asheville that it became the epicenter for Fiesta Latina. Now all those businesses and families are gone. What happened? Well I think it’s two-fold: First the price of housing went up in West Asheville as an influx of young, mostly white, post-undergraduates and families moved in looking for cheap housing, and a sense of diversity. Rising housing costs forced the mostly low wage earning Hispanic families out of West Asheville proper. Now with their client base drying up, and facing rising rent themselves, from landlords who see how a run down drug store could become Sunny Point, or an abandoned gas station could become the UJ, the tiendas had no choice but to close. Now West Asheville may as well be referred to as “Little Park Slope.” It’s a shame when diversity dies because of the economics disguised as “improvements.”

    Ignorant statements such as “Big Al’s” only highlight the non-empathetic and childish nature of many Americans. Try living or traveling somewhere for an extended period of time where you don’t speak the native language. I bet you’d welcome a small burger joint that only speaks English, or maybe I should say ‘Merican.

  7. Avlfoodie

    There are other businesses coming to the south slope. See this article from chowhound:

    Lots going on in town! Here are some snippets that I took from Mountain Xpress, Ashvegas, The C-T and other sources so those of you who aren’t local can catch up:

    King Daddy

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.