Home Iconic bar Trashy Vegan Opens in West Asheville, Cucina 24 Chef Reveals Changes

Trashy Vegan Opens in West Asheville, Cucina 24 Chef Reveals Changes

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ASHEVILLE — A new restaurant is making its soft debut in West Asheville, a local chef unveils his latest restaurant and bar upgrades, two businesses are teaming up for a summer family night out, and a bottle shop will host a series of tasting events of wines.

The West Way of Asheville

The owners of a popular food truck put their shift in park and opened the doors to their new brick-and-mortar restaurants.

The Trashy Vegan had its soft open over Memorial Day weekend at 697 Haywood Road in West Asheville.

Starting June 3, regular hours will be 3 p.m. to 8 p.m. Friday through Tuesday.

The permanent address will be the only place to get a Trashy Vegan dish for a while. Owners Joel Boggs and Michelle Edwards are giving the food truck a rest as they embark on operations at the new site.

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“We’re going to put this on the back burner temporarily,” Boggs said. “It may reappear in the future, but not until we streamline the restaurant.”

Returning customers will see familiar dishes from the food truck at the restaurant, but expect the menu to change regularly and evolve over time. Soon the restaurant will also launch its bar menu.

The Trashy Vegan in West Asheville on June 1, 2022.

“We try to slow things down and incorporate new stuff probably every week,” he said.

Trashy Vegan serves casual fare without animal meat or by-products, such as plant-based burgers, soy-based “chicken” sandwiches, and nuggets and fries.

“We want people to have a good meal,” Boggs said. “You’re going to have food that looks like comfort food. It’s not like what most people associate with healthy vegan food. It’s definitely vegan junk food, and we want people to see that it can be vegan and be just as delicious and as good as an animal product.

The Trashy Vegan has transformed the former butcher shop window into a plant-based food hub. The interior takes on a bohemian vibe with second-hand furniture and a repurposed bowling floor for the bar, he said.

“It’s definitely very intimate, very cozy but also with a little Trashy Vegan-West Asheville flair,” he said.

For more details, follow The Trashy Vegan on Instagram @the_trashy_vegan. A website will soon be launched.

Sitting on Wall Street

Chef and owner Brian Canipelli is making more intentional changes from menus to the dining experience at his establishments, Cucina 24 Restaurant and Contrada Wine Bar in downtown Asheville.

Customers now have access to a new and improved outdoor dining area on sunny days. And a canopy has been built and umbrellas are provided to cover the table. The expanded outdoor space doubles the capacity for businesses, he said.

Windows have been installed in the buildings which can be opened to bring in fresh air.

“We were waiting for the weather to warm up to really see what this space can do,” Canipelli said. “We also started slow where we only raced on weekends, then we went to five days and now we are open seven days for both spots.

Cucina 24 has gone through many changes since it opened 14 years ago at 28 Wall St. Canipelli has navigated the changing downtown and brought the restaurant out on the other side of the COVID-19 pandemic, but with some modifications.

“During COVID, we kind of changed the patterns in the dining room a bit to focus a little more on the ingredients than we already were and try to reduce as much waste as possible when times were so tough. “, said Canipelli.

Cucina24's outdoor seating area.

Cucina 24 offers a set menu of a $60 five-course meal.

Contrada, sister company to Cucina 24, is next door at 28 Wall St. The menu features snacks, pizza, ice cream, draft cocktails, wine, and beer.

“It’s the most laid-back concept in the sense that it’s à la carte and reservation-free,” Canipelli said. “We’re kind of focusing on our brick oven pizzas in this space now.”

The business owner has made changes in areas such as labor, food and waste, he said.

“By doing this we’re dealing with a bit smaller staff than before, but everyone’s schedule is a lot more humane and ideally people have three days off a week, and I’m able to pay people at all levels better than I was before,” Canipelli said.

Cucina 24’s menu is updated daily and offers cuisine inspired by regional and Italian cuisine.

“It’s certainly cutting edge,” he said. “Vegetables kind of take center stage here,” he said. “We build our menus around the produce that comes in from the farm each week and let those elements dictate how the rest of the meats and proteins fit in.”

The restaurant has reduced its ingredients and its sourcing from two main local farms.

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“That’s always been the style of what we do, but it gave me a chance to sit down and assess where we could do a better job,” Canipelli said.

For more details and to make a reservation at Cucina 24, visit cooking24restaurant.com. For more details on Contrada, visit contrada-avl.com.

cool summer

Two Asheville businesses team up for a family party.

Asheville Tea Company and Sugar & Snow Gelato will be hosting the Iced Tea & Gelato Summer Pop-Up Party from 1-4 p.m. on June 5 at Sugar & Snow Gelato, 99 Riverside Drive in the River Arts District.

Asheville Tea Company and Sugar & Snow Gelato will be hosting the Iced Tea & Gelato Summer Pop-Up Party from 1-4 p.m. on June 5 at Sugar & Snow Gelato, 99 Riverside Dr in the River Arts District.

The free event is open to the public. Guests are invited to come and sample tea, shop and taste sweets, as well as special appearances and surprises.

The offering will include artisanal ice cream and seasonal summer iced tea infusions made with local ingredients. A staple of the special collaboration will be the Gelato Iced Tea Float.

For more details on Asheville Tea Company, visit ashevilleteacompany.com. For more details on Sugar & Snow Gelato, visit sugarandsnowgelato.com.

wine down

Save the dates for several summer evenings aimed at educating, entertaining and celebrating the art of winemaking.

MetroWines hosts intimate tastings with special guests at The Bottle Shop, 169 Charlotte St. in Asheville.

On June 14, Bubbles at the Bar will begin at 5 p.m. with Freedom Beverage Company’s Josh Austin. Guests will receive free samples of four sparkling wines during the traveling tasting with the option to purchase varieties for the house.

On June 22, the Zinfandel Tasting with iconic winemaker Carol Shelton will take place from 5-6:30 p.m. The event is free and no reservations are required. Proceeds from Carol Shelton wines sold at the event will be donated to Mountain Pet Rescue Asheville.

On June 29, “The Perfect Table” will begin at 5:30 p.m. with special guest Oceano, owner and winemaker Rachel Martin. MetroWines will serve Oceano Chardonnay and Pinot Noir alongside bites. The scene will be set with table designs by an artist from the Grovewood Gallery. The event is $20 per person and all Spiegelau wine and wine glasses are event price.

On July 6, join the MetroWines discussion group and taste four wines as a reward for the store. The cost is free, but places are limited. Customers can benefit from discounts for bulk purchases of wine purchased that evening. One must reserve.

For more details and to book, visit metrowinesasheville.com or call 828-575-9525.

Tiana Kennell is a food and gastronomy reporter for the Asheville Citizen Times, part of the USA Today Network. Email her at [email protected] or follow her on Twitter/Instagram @PrincessOfPage. Please help support this kind of journalism with a subscription at the Citizen Times.