Asheville – The S&W Market, Asheville’s first food hall, opened on June 16. The historic, art-deco building in downtown Asheville houses a collection of independent, local restaurants and breweries.
Built in 1929, the 56 Patton Ave building was designed by architect Douglas Ellington. The classic art deco style and ornate details made this a stand-out edifice for nearly a century. Great arched windows, terra cotta panels adorn the façade. It is encased in grey ashlar and features polychrome ornamentation.
Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the S&W building once housed the S&W Cafeteria, an upscale, quick-service lunchroom. In 1974, the S&W Cafeteria moved to the Asheville Mall. The space became an event venue.
In 2017, the building was purchased by Ellington’s nephews, Douglas and Kenneth Ellington of Ellington Realty Group. Five-time James Beard Award nominee Meherwan Irani, of Chai Pani Restaurant Group, serves as the culinary consultant. With The Ellington Realty Group, Irani crafted the food hall’s culinary lineup.
“We are extremely proud to be able to bring the S&W Building back as the center of community with Asheville’s first food hall,” Burns Aldridge, managing broker of Ellington Realty Group, said in a news release. “The local makers who are coming together for this project are incredibly talented, and we know that with the variety and quality of beer and food we will have, The S&W Market is going to resonate with locals and visitors as a place to return to again and again.”
The remodeled interior invokes a 1920’s feel and maintains much of the original materials. The main level of the food hall holds seating for 65 patrons, with standing tables for up to 20 more. There are 100 seats on the mezzanine and 40 more on the outdoor patio.
Bun Intended: The Thai street food menu features steamed buns including pork belly, chicken and sauteed veggie. They also sell reimagined curry and pad seaweed noodle bowls with local meat and organic vegetables.
Buxton Chicken Palace: Irani and Buxton Hall chef-partner and pitmaster Elliott Moss opened a shrine to fried chicken sandwiches. Pair your sandwich with waffle fries and house-made dipping sauces.
Farm Dogs: Farm Burger’s George Frangos and Jason Mann conceived this restaurant that features local, grass-fed hot dogs, sausages and soft pretzels.
Highland Brewing Company: Highland made its return to downtown Asheville where it first launched 25 years ago. The S&W Market houses a mezzanine-level bar with an expanded menu and a smaller quick-service bar on the first floor.
Hop Ice Cream S&W: This is the well-known ice cream spot’s first downtown location. The menu features homemade dairy and vegan ice creams, milkshakes, sundaes, desserts and made-from-scratch waffle cones.
Peace Love Tacos: This concept comes from Paige and Danny Scully of Mountain Madre Mexican Kitchen & Agave Bar in downtown Asheville. They have a limited menu done well, including tacos, taco salads, street corn and nachos made with responsibly sourced meats and vegetables.
The Times Bar: The craft cocktail bar is adjacent to the main S&W Market entrance and shares a patio. The bar also houses a craft coffee menu.
Circa 29: This is the S&W Market’s event space for up to 150 people. The downstairs location is in the speakeasy-style vibe and its own bar. Circa 29 will be available for private events in the coming months.
Hours for the S&W Market are: 11:30 a.m. – 10 p.m., Monday-Saturday; noon
— 8 p.m. Sunday.