Not familiar with the Downtown Market? It's worth a look — it's located at 45 South French Broad Ave. and houses Amazing Savings, the Hi-fi Coffee Bar, a selection of local vendors and the Culinary Canvas food court, which stands to make a bit of a splash on the local food scene.
At press time, the new Vietnamese Bistro is awaiting state approval for its name. The executive chef, Chef Tru Phan, is new to Asheville but has 30 years of experience in exclusive high-end resorts throughout the world, says Pepper Parris, marketing director of the Downtown Market. Phan is also a master chainsaw-wielding ice carver who plans to demonstrate his skills at the grand opening of the restaurant. Eventually, says Parris, Phan will offer chainsaw ice-carving lessons at the Downtown Market.
A silent partner involved in the venture has extensive experience in the field of restaurant design and event planning, including major resorts and theme parks around the world.
In response to a still recovering economy, says Parris, the restaurant partners intend to bring culturally-true Vietnamese to the Market at a very affordable price point. The team has apparently identified Asheville's need for more affordable, varied and authentic ethnic food; according to Parris, the duo has plans to open similar restaurants in the area in the future.
For now, however, the focus is on serving Vietnamese favorites like traditional Pho, spring and summer rolls, Vietnamese hoagies, vermicelli and Vietnamese-style fried rice. The bistro will also feature traditional French-Vietnamese desserts.
The exact opening time is uncertain at this point, though Parris reports that "the equipment has been ordered and the name should become a reality soon." If the Vietnamese bistro is not open by the end of July, it will most certainly be open by mid-August, barring any unforeseen circumstances.
The restaurant will be open Wednesday through Sunday from when the Downtown Market opens at 10 a.m. until 5 p.m. If the venture is popular, says Parris, it will be open seven days a week, and hours will be extended until at least 7 p.m.
For more information, visit downtownmarketasheville.com.