Monday, January 17, 2011

The Flying Frog Cafe to Close: Asheville Loses Another Iconic Restaurant

Whether you refer to the recent economic downtown as a recession or a depression I think depends on how well we each have fared personally in these times.  But no matter what you call it, it has been a difficult time for many.  The Asheville area lost several long time friends in the restaurant industry.  From South Side Cafe to Savoy and now The Flying Frog Cafe.  Vijay Shastri, Executive Chef and Partner, announced to staff yesterday that the difficult decision to close the Cafe and upstairs bar was made.  The closing date will be announced later this week.  It is hard to lose such icons and they will be missed. 

Jay Shastri, Vijay's father, opened The Windmill in 1985 offering an international menu.  The restaurant reopened in 1996 as The Flying Frog Cafe that offers fine Continental, German and Urban Indian cuisine with boutique wines from around the world in an elegant atmosphere.  While the restaurant's location changed a little, it remained a mainstay of Asheville dining.

Vijay promises to "rebound even stronger" which I am confident he will do.  He is a very talented Chef who is passionate and enthusiastic about his craft.  Whatever the direction he chooses to take in the future, I know he will offer Asheville his best.  I applaud the Shastri family for the hard work and creative mindset that they brought to Asheville through their restaurants.

There is no denying the hardship for some of our restaurants, but a silver lining exists that makes these losses a little easier for Asheville.  We have new faces opening up in Western North Carolina in the place of the old favorites we lose.  We continue to have a diverse selection of cuisine from which to choose that is pretty impressive for a city of our size.  Be sure to support our local independent restaurants.

Flying Frog Cafe on Urbanspoon


  1. I had heard upstairs bar was staying open? Note that you write that we "lost" Savoy. I would say that Savoy "found" itself as Vinnie's in response to stiff competition and is now doing well. I would agree that we are seeing a renaissance of many new and creative restaurants in Asheville. Many more options that towns/cities of a similar size. Don't despair, all is not lost!

  2. No both the restaurant and the bar will apparently close.

    And yes we have Vinnie's instead of Savoy which is my point concerning the silver lining. We may lose old favorites but we will be able to find our new favorites as well. All is not lost!

  3. We can only hope that our town will not lose Vijay to another location. He is one of the reasons we are Asheville.Help! They are turning downtown into a cruise ship!!!

  4. You're right Dan, we don't want to lose Vijay. His talent and commitment to the local culinary scene has made an impact.

    This is a good reason to continue to support our local independent restaurants. If they thrive, we will continue to have the diverse restaurant scene we have now . . . and it will get better! Support Asheville Independent Restaurants . . .