1. What type of food does Jettie Rae’s serve?

The high-quality, fresh food options at Jettie Rae’s are inspired by seafood traditions all the way from Maine to New Orleans. Think Long Island clam bars, Maryland crab houses, waterfront oyster bars, New England lobster shacks, Louisiana seafood shanties, low-country boils, and oyster roasts. Fresh, local produce will be sourced seasonally.



2. Where did the name Jettie Rae’s come from?

The name is an homage to a person from Eric’s time in Charleston: an elderly woman who would sell seafood along the side of the road outside Charleston. The idea that food should be affordable, accessible, and bring people together to the same table lives on through this restaurant.



3. Where will Jettie Rae’s source its ingredients?

In addition to seafood that is intentionally sourced from the coasts, we will use fresh local produce when seasonally available from area vendors. Our goal is to choose the best food sources—including seafood—depending on seasonality and availability.



4. Are you allowed to build on this riverfront land?

Yes. When this project began in the fall of 2017, prior to the adoption of the form-based code, this parcel was zoned RIVER. Under the previous RIVER Zoning, the proposed improvements allowed for this type of development.

The current Open Space Zoning (OSP) allows for building coverage on 80% of the parcel and the proposed building coverage is 8%. Historically, the property was occupied with industrial buildings. The OSP zoning allows uses such as parking, and recreational purposes to include restrooms, pavilions and concessions. The project’s proposed improvements are in alignment with the current OSP zoning requirements and the parking, restrooms and pavilion can be built under the current standards. The restaurant use engages the Greenway and should be viewed as a concession serving the recreational experience.



5. Why are you building on this particular piece of land? Why not build elsewhere in the RAD or another part of Asheville?

This project provides a unique opportunity to engage the Greenway with riverfront recreation. There are examples all over the country of recreational development joining and benefitting economic development, riverfronts and greenways, and we want to be a part of this positive movement here in Asheville. This parcel is currently owned by RiverLink; under the current Open Space Zoning classification, it is the only privately held parcel along the River with this zoning classification other than city-owned properties.  

Recent initiatives by the City of Asheville have focused on revitalizing the River Arts District through infrastructure for economic development and riverfront recreation. Jettie Rae’s is just a part of the larger goal to activate the Greenway and river in ways that will fulfill the vision of the Wilma Dykeman RiverWay Plan of 2004:

“Balancing economic development in the corridor with environmental protection is our future. The rivers are our last great treasure enhancing our unique sense of place. The RiverWay and urban riverfront corridor plans acknowledge that businesses will choose where to locate based on the availability of quality of life amenities, such as our rivers and parks.”


6. Can you explain the difference between “open space” and “open space zoning?”

Are "Open Space" and "Open Space Zoning" the same thing? No. Open Space is a requirement throughout a majority of the City's zoning districts for green landscaped areas. RAD Open Space Zoning (OSP) is the zoning district for this property.

Those interested in the details of these zones are encouraged to review their details at https://www.jettieraes.com/zoning.


7. What is River Link?

RiverLink promotes the environmental and economic vitality of the French Broad River and its watershed as a place to live, learn, work, and play. We respect Riverlink and admire the work that they do in the RAD and throughout our region. While we are not partners with them, it is our desire to support RiverLink’s efforts with charitable contributions as the restaurant grows.

"The executive committee and the full board of RiverLink unanimously support the sale of 144 Riverside Drive and believe that the concept presented is compatible with the Wilma Dykeman Riverway Plan and our goals of bringing the community to its river."
—Garrett Artz, Executive Director, RiverLink

8. When will Jettie Rae’s open?

Pending approval from the City of Asheville Planning and Zoning and City Council, the owners will be able to start development for a 2020 target opening date.

9. Why build a small restaurant? Why not just host food trucks?

We considered the idea of food trucks from all angles, and have decided not to move in that direction because hosting one or multiple food trucks is not an eco-friendly or sustainable business model. Food trucks leave a large carbon footprint by using gas engines, gas generators, the process of potable water, rubber tire use and vehicle maintenance. The new restaurant will be built with mostly recycled materials and eco friendly practices. In addition to this, food trucks would hinder the Jettie Rae’s vision for the following reasons:

  1. Food trucks won’t have the ability to serve alcohol.

  2. Food trucks are vulnerable to inclement weather, and restricts year-round access and usage. In short, we wouldn’t have the ability to feed everyone on a consistent schedule, which is a bummer.

  3. Food trucks offer limited food options.

  4. Food trucks are not financially feasible to generate enough income to be good caretakers of the property and maintain the property for an all-inclusive atmosphere.

  5. Food trucks are not guaranteed to be handicap accessible.

10. how big is the restaurant?

The proposed square footage of Jettie Rae’s restaurant is 5500 square feet, which breaks down as follows:

  • 1st Floor Restaurant footprint = 2,025 s.f. 
    950 s.f. as Kitchen
    1,075 s.f. as four-season Porch Dining

  • 2nd Floor Restaurant = 2,750 s.f.
    1,700 as Covered and Open dining deck

    1,050 s.f. as four-season porch dining
    The remaining square footage consists of roof overhangs and awnings.

11. What if I have more questions?

Updates around the project committee progress, development, menus and culinary experience will be released as they become available. Questions about the restaurant or project can be sent to Jettie Rae’s communications team at hello@jettieraes.com.

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