3/3/2010 - Tupelo Honey Cafe South cuts the ribbon
by Mackensy Lunsford
Tupelo Honey Cafe South celebrated its grand opening in high style on Monday evening, highlighting the work of the numerous local architects, designers and other talents who made it all come together.
Mayor Terry Bellamy was on hand for the ribbon-cutting, as were other local officials, leaders of the Asheville Area Chamber of Commerce and a slew of other folks from local media outlets and businesses.
Cafe owner Steve Frabitore stressed that the eatery was designed, built and decorated utilizing the deep well of talent here in the Asheville area. For starters, the architectural renewal of the previously rather nondescript interior was tackled by Patti Glazer, the talent responsible for many notable restoration and renovation projects like Echo Mountain Recording Studio and the Lobster Trap. Kathryn Long of Ambiance Interiors was responsible for the interior design, and Doug Stratton of Votiv Architectural Design handled the lighting. What this talented design team has wrought at Tupelo Honey's south-Asheville location is impressive, to say the least.
When it comes to using local talent, Frabitore didn't stop with the design of the building itself. The walls are dotted with local art from the Wrinkled Egg and Oliver's Southern Folk Art. Locals Lyna Farkas and Sharon Tompkins provided decorative painting. Simone Wilson of Pleasant Hugh Studio provided custom tin panels, and Preservation Hall in Weaverville transformed some restored old windows into mirrors.
Of course, the restaurant also uses plenty of local meats and produce in its kitchen, just like in the original location downtown. If the food served at the event was of any indication, the chefs on the south side are holding true to Tupelo Honey's reputation for serving delicious nouveau-southern cuisine.
In a recent press release, Frabitore says of the restaurant's theme:
"We have worked very hard to transfer the eclecticism, color and fun synonymous with the original location. The new restaurant is filled with Southern folk art, recycled windows and screen doors and commissioned works by local artists and artisans. We're also very proud of the fact we've created over 100 local jobs in the process."