"I'm really trying to go with a laid-back, Asheville-friendly neighborhood bar, where all the pretensions you usually see in a wine bar are gone," says Matthew Logan. "I really wanted to create a fun bar" that's comfortable, he says.
Logan grew up outside New York City, but his mother and some of his extended family are from Knoxville, Tenn., and later moved to Asheville. "I've been coming to Asheville a long time," says Logan, who notes that he may be from the big city, "but I was baptized at Saint Lawrence," Asheville's historic basilica.
In New York, Logan worked in the food and beverage industry at places including the Park Avenue Cafe and Smith and Wollensky Steak House. Logan decided to make a life change a couple of years ago and moved to Asheville. He bought the 5 Walnut building and renovated it to include four upstairs apartments and the downstairs wine bar.
The bar, just up from Scully's on Walnut Avenue, has a homey feel with an original wood floor, a bar and tables topped with maple by woodworker Peter White of Boone (Logan's cousin) and chairs by local chair-maker Brian Boggs. One wall of the bar will feature a mural by well-known local artist Ben Betsalel.
The bar will feature "an abundance of quality wines" in the $5-to-$10-a-glass range, says Logan. He plans to carry mead from Fox Hill Meadery in Madison County and cider from McRitchie Winery and Ciderworks in Yadkin County. There will be six local beers on tap, as well, and local bread, cheese, dips and spreads for snacking. "We're trying to keep it simple and local," Logan says.
Logan's also proud of the team he's assembled to staff his bar: Kristie Quinn, Kristin Welch and Melissa Terrezza are all familiar faces around Asheville — the three friendliest people in Asheville," Logan says.
Logan says 5 Walnut should be open by the end of March.
Click here to see a photo gallery of 5 Walnut.
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