Is it or isn’t it?

Here’s the lowdown on a few recently opened downtown Asheville businesses:

Anntony’s Caribbean Cafe (1 Page Ave., 255-9620) is one of two restaurants of that name. The original Anntony’s, developed in tandem with a company that makes Caribbean-style sauces, is located in Charlotte. The local owners are Asheville residents Douglas Gall and Byron Greiner.

Atlantic Books (15-B Broadway, 255-7654) recently relocated to Asheville from Charleston, S.C. Owners Amelia and Gene Woolf, who now live in Asheville, sold their other Charleston-based store to their son.

• The Battery Park Bistro (22 Battery Park Ave., 253-2158) occupies the former Uptown Cafe site. Chef Lee Currie is an Asheville native.

Cafe Soleil Creperie and Bar (62 N. Lexington Ave., 350-1140) may sound like a chain — there are other nonlocal eateries called “Cafe Soleil” — but this one is the creation of Asheville residents Stephane Diaz and Cecilia Marchesini.

Doc Chey’s Noodle House (37 Biltmore Ave., 252-8220) is one of three restaurants bearing this name (the other two are in Atlanta) owned by Ellyn Feinroth.

Grove Corner Market (1 Page Ave., 225-4949), featuring specialty grocery items, is the original concept of Ashevilleans Ronald Ainspan and Roseanne Keily.

Heaven Rains Boys & Girls (1 Page Ave., 252-1484), owned by longtime Asheville resident Rosalind Whiteley, is a one-of-a-kind, family-operated business.

Kamm’s Custard Shop (1 Page Ave., 225-7200), is owned by locals Jim and Sally Kammann. They have a second store in Greenville, S.C., and the business is headquartered in Asheville.

Marble Slab Creamery (14 Biltmore Ave., 225-5579) is one of 330 franchise locations in 26 states and Puerto Rico. The parent company is based in Houston; local franchise owners Glen Lax and Lane and Ryan Griffin also own Marble Slab stores in Charlotte and in Greenville and Columbia, S.C. Lax now lives in Asheville.

Mayfel’s (22 College St., 252-8840), a Cajun eatery, serves po’ boys, muffalettas and other New Orleans treats. The locally owned restaurant is the second for Loretta Woolley, who’s also the proprietor of the tiny downtown lunch counter Loretta’s.

Mobilia (43 Haywood St., 252-8322), a contemporary home-furnishings boutique, is owned by recent Raleigh transplants Renate Schuchardt and Cynthia Turner.

Port City Java (33 Battery Park Ave., 225-7841) is a Wilmington, N.C.-based franchise. Founded in 1995, the business now boasts coffeehouses in four states and two foreign countries (Iceland and Germany). The local franchise owners are longtime Asheville residents Nick and Paul Rantzos.

Shangri La Cafe (3 Biltmore Ave., 225-8788), which features Asian “fusion cuisine,” is owned by Asheville local Jing Shu Wang, who also created The Noodle Shop on Pack Square.

Thibodeaux Jones Creole Kitchen (48 Biltmore Ave., 225-3065) might seem like a chain to those who’ve seen the same sign gracing the Orange Peel and Grey Eagle clubs, but it’s entirely original. Owner Chris Jones, who came to Asheville by way of New Orleans, has finally settled into his own location.

Va Bene (32 Biltmore Ave., 258-3925), a ceramics shop, is owned by local husband-and-wife team Laura Dover-Doran and Patrick Doran.

About Alli Marshall
Alli Marshall is the arts section editor at Mountain Xpress. She's lived in Asheville for more than 20 years and loves live music, visual art, fiction and friendly dogs. Alli is the winner of the 2016 Thomas Wolfe Fiction Prize and the author of the novel "How to Talk to Rockstars," published by Logosophia Books. Follow me @alli_marshall

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