Sustainable South Slope Pizzeria Opening - TribPapers
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Sustainable South Slope Pizzeria Opening

Harvest Pizzeria is wrapping up renovations.

AshevilleFollowing a month-long delay, Harvest Pizzeria is opening in mid-October at 39 Banks Ave. in Asheville’s South Slope. The Neapolitan-style pizzeria is independently owned and operated by Asheville residents, Kelly and John Leu. The couple has been planning the opening since they moved to Asheville three years ago.

“Our hope is that Harvest will not only fit in well here, but that it adds to this incredible community creating a wonderful place for people to work, come to visit, and enjoy a great pizza with a local craft beer or cocktail,” Jon Leu told the Asheville Citizen-Times.

Harvest Pizzeria is part of an Ohio-based company founded by their longtime friend, Chris Crader, in 2011. The Asheville location is the first located outside of Ohio—currently, there are four Harvest Pizzeria locations in Columbus, Bexley and Dublin, Ohio.

Farm-to-table fresh

“Our mission is to provide guests with the freshest, tastiest food possible through partnerships with local farmers,” Harvest Pizzeria’s website says. “Our commitment to freshness, community, and quality comes via an alliance as a satellite unit with our dear friends in Columbus, Ohio. Locally owned and operated, Harvest Pizzeria will collaborate with purveyors to procure the best local and all-natural ingredients available with the unfaltering belief that local tastes better.”

The eatery specializes in farm-to-table food made with locally sourced ingredients. The Leu’s are leaning into regional farms for their menu that includes wood-fired pizzas, appetizers, salads and sandwiches. All dishes are made from scratch, including plant-based options such as vegan cheese and fennel sausage. 

“The density of farms and purveyors that are located within the geographic area of Asheville make it the perfect place for Harvest Pizzeria,” Kelly Leu told the Asheville Citizen-Times. “People are conscious here of what they are eating and where it comes from. It is something that people appreciate here.”

A signature, sustainable dough

Harvest’s crust is unlike any other in the city—the signature dough is light and croissant-like. Guests can enjoy the flaky pizza in a freshly constructed three-level in the South Slope. Harvest repurposed a vacant building built in the 1920s. The pizzeria blends historical and modern design to honor the building’s original art-deco features. Floors one and two are original brick with a Wonder-Woman mural by local artist Dustin Spagnola. The Leu’s used “sustainable construction” to add the third floor and rooftop that boasts views of Mt. Pisgah. 

“Keeping with their desire to reduce, reuse and recycle, owners Jon & Kelly Leu choose to remodel the existing exterior and interior to preserve the heritage of the building which dates back to the 1920s. Every element from the up-cycled steel windows to the original steel trusses has its purpose, and its repurpose,” says the website.

A local metal manufacturer repurposed oil drums to craft accent lighting that nods to the building once operating as an auto shop in the 1980s. Vast windows in the kitchen serve as eyes into the soul of Harvest—customers can view the pizzas being tossed and cooked in the woodfire oven. 

The Leu’s are committed to sustainability. Harvest uses eco-friendly, biodegradable products for all of its to-go packaging, eco-friendly dish chemicals and plant-based cleaning products. They recycle grease through Blue Ridge Biofuels and compost and recycle through Danny’s Dumpsters.

Full-service spot

The space holds a mezzanine for private events, a dining room, full bar, open kitchen and a rooftop bar and patio. The full rooftop craft cocktail bar serves wine, spirits and local craft beers. Patrons can admire the Blue Ridge Mountains while sitting by the firepit. 

Harvest Pizzeria summed up their services well in an Instagram post, “Locally-sourced ingredients, world class pizza and amazing rooftop patio!”

Harvest Pizzeria’s hours are 11am to 11pm, Sunday through Thursday and 11am to 1am Friday and Saturday. For opening updates, follow Harvest on Instagram @harvestpizzeriaavl and visit harvestpizzeriaavl.com.

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