A pessimist might say including the word “Lucky” in your business name is an invitation to trouble. But when entrepreneur Savannah Logan purchased a horse trailer on April Fool’s Day 2021 and converted it into a mobile coffee cart, she named the shop Lucky Coffee after her beloved childhood rescue dog.
Launched in Wilmington, Logan soon steered the Lucky trailer to Asheville in December, determined to make the leap from a mobile business to a brick-and-mortar.
As luck would have it, she found an ad on Craigslist within a month, listing an available space in a shopping plaza on Sweeten Creek Road. Parlaying her success with the trailer into a loan, she and her boyfriend, Wesley Regnier, built out and opened Lucky Coffee shop April 27.
Logan, just 22 years old, has long found coffee shops to be her happy place. “I love the way in coffee shops people that would normally not talk to each other can spark a conversation even if the only thing they have in common is coffee,” she explains. “I was home-schooled a lot, and coffee shops were places I made connections and felt like I fit in. They are pleasant places to be.”
But soon after opening Lucky, some of the appeal (and luck) appeared to fade. “I was a little down that first week when things were slow,” she recalls. Things got worse the following week when the shop was broken into in the middle of the night. Logan arrived the next day to find her carefully designed shop a mess.
Yet, luck soon found its way back into the picture. Logan was interviewed by both detectives and a local television crew. And while the intruders haven’t been caught, the news broadcast captured the attention of viewers.
With more elbow room than her previous horse trailer ever had, Logan has added plenty of new drinks to the Lucky Coffee menu, including many named for classic rock bands. “The most popular ones are the Fleetwood Mac, which is honey lavender, and the Pink Floyd, which is white mocha and raspberry.”
Logan is adding vegan and gluten-free baked goods from nearby Back Porch Bakery. “I want a full experience for guests,” she says. “Once they come in the first time, I want them to have every reason to come back.”
Lucky Coffee is at 2619 Sweeten Creek Road. For more information, visit avl.mx/bnd.
Movin’ on up
Moving is always an ordeal, but for one longtime customer of Rosetta’s Kitchen & the Buchi Bar, it was devastating. “A lady came in the other day and cried in the dining room. She said we had gotten her through high school, college and grad school,” says Rosetta Buan with a laugh. “We told her it was OK — we’re only going up the block.”
And so it is, after 20 years at 116 N. Lexington Ave., Rosetta’s Kitchen has moved to 68 N. Lexington Ave., the former site of Water Street (also owned by Buan).
Rosetta’s opened in 2002 during the first Lexington Avenue Art and Fun Fest. The comfort vegan soul food found early success with Ashevilleans and visitors alike; eight years ago, Rosetta’s added The Buchi Bar.
“Rosetta’s has not really fit into that building for 15 years,” Buan says. “The kitchen is so tiny we had to prep in commissary kitchens.”
After shutting down the short-lived Water Street, Buan and longtime business partner, Jack Buan, decided to make the move. Despite the relocation, the two plan to hold onto the building at 116 N. Lexington Ave., with plans for a new project in the works.
Making the move are the menu signs from Rosetta’s original location and the talismanic pirate painting that has long hung on its wall. But the main thing Rosetta Buan says the business is bringing is “our energy, vibe, creativity and menu to a more functional space. We have some of our OG rock stars and the next generation. My four kids work here and their friends. We feel like that’s where our future is, and it’s exciting.”
Rosetta’s Kitchen & The Buchi Bar is at 68 N. Lexington Ave. For more information, visit avl.mx/bng.
Though Jay Medford already co-owns the full-service restaurant Storm Rhum Bar as well as the Stay Glazed Donuts shop, he thought owning a bar might be kind of fun, too. So, when he was asked by the new owner of an old brick building on the College Street side of Pack Square if he knew of anyone who might be interested in its subterranean room, Medford went to check it out. Soon thereafter, he and his business partners were signing a lease.
That was the easy part — permitting, renovating and reinventing the gritty space that was once Fred’s Speakeasy into a swanky lounge took months. But on May 13, Medford and crew invited guests to GiGi’s Underground, which is serving classic cocktails, mocktails, beer, wine and teapot cocktails. The latter pays homage to Doris Unsworth, Medford’s wife’s grandmother. “She was an active member of the London Army during World War II,” Medford says. “All the grandkids called her Gigi, so we wanted to honor her with the name and create a place she might have hung out in back in the day.”
Teapot cocktails are a trend that emerged in London and are intended to be cocktails for two, poured from a teapot into a teacup. “We bought lots of teacups from Habitat for Humanity’s ReStores and the teapots from AZ Market,” Medford says. He adds that he’ll be using local spirits from Cultivated Cocktails, Chemist and Eda Rhyne Distilling Co., as well as nonalcoholic spirits sourced by Nolo’s Jason Pedrick.
GiGi’s will have live music with a focus on jazz. “Like any speakeasy, we’ll keep the hours loose and depending on the crowd,” says Medford. “We have the option to be open until 2 a.m.”
GiGi’s Underground is at 122-002 College St. For more information, visit avl.mx/bnh.
Tony Ming Liu arrived in Asheville from New York in 2003 and opened the 25-seat Green Tea Sushi in West Asheville in November of that year. Both the capacity and menu have expanded tremendously in the nearly two decades since, but Liu says it has always been his dream to bring a different experience to his adopted home. The first week of June, he opened the doors to Mr. Tea Asian Bistro at the Asheville Mall, with both interior and exterior dedicated entrances.
“I want Mr. Tea to be a calm and serene place with a lot of Chinese culture,” says Ming Liu.
What it will not have, at least initially, is sushi. It does have a section of the menu dedicated to dim sum, and while it won’t be served in the traditional style from rolling carts, fans of the specialty will be glad to know standards like pork soup dumplings, chicken sticky rice in lotus leaf, chicken feet and beef bun will be available daily. Entrees include Chilean sea bass with soba noodles, roast duck breast, and sweet and sour crispy fried fish.
Mr. Tea Asian Bistro is at 3 S. Tunnel Road, Suite E-05. For more information, visit avl.mx/bne.
Chefs Terri Terrell, Beth Kellerhals and Michele Gentille — aka Ladies Who Brunch — are returning to Bottle Riot on Sunday, June 19, to present a Father’s Day Blues Brunch. Service begins at noon, and RSVPs are requested. The food menu has not been finalized but expect down-in-Delta delights from Terrell, Kellerhal’s signature buttah biscuits and French-inspired classics from Gentille. At the bar, fathers can anticipate Dad Bod Bloodies as well as $2 off bourbon and scotch. There will be no dad jokes, but plenty of dad-friendly blues spun by Papa Bear Barrett.
Bottle Riot is at 37 Paynes Way. For more information, visit avl.mx/bnm.
On Tuesday, June 21, the Buncombe County Agriculture and Land Resources Department is hosting a farm dinner to recognize and celebrate the resiliency of Buncombe County’s agricultural community with Dinner at the Farm. Taking place at the Southern Appalachian Highlands Conservancy Community Farm, the dinner will be cooked by 12 Bones and served buffet-style. The dinner and live music are free, but people must register in advance as capacity is 130 seats.
SAHC Community Farm is at 180 Mag Sluder Road. Visit avl.mx/bnn for more information.