Harvest Pizzeria is slated to open in mid-September, delivering a new slice of farm-to-table fare to the South Slope.
“We are really looking forward to opening our doors to the Asheville community,” said Jon Leu, who is opening the pizzeria alongside his wife, Kelly. “From vision to fruition, it has been a long run.”
Located at 39 Banks Ave., Harvest Pizzeria is a haven for notoriously delicious gourmet wood-fired pizzas, small plates, sandwiches and cocktails — all made from scratch with as many locally sourced goodies as they can harvest.
“After many years in retail, we were in a position to embark upon a new path and we chose to go back to our roots, which was in the food and beverage industry,” Jon said. “We’ve been coming here for years and felt like it was the perfect time to bring Harvest with us.”
The project, now nearly three years in the making, will breathe new life to the iconic Wonder Woman wall. The future of the famous structure on Banks Avenue has been the topic of many conversations about what might become of the space.
Once fully operational, Harvest Pizzeria will boast a 4,500-square-foot main floor with dining, full bar and open kitchen, a mezzanine for private events, and a 2,300-square-foot rooftop bar and patio complete with a fire pit and spectacular views of the Pisgah mountain range.
Keeping with their desire to reduce and reuse, the Leus chose 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.
Nearly everything on their menu is crafted in house, including the signature dough which can only be described as light, crusty, croissant-like and famously addictive.
The menu is filled with locally grown organic produce, local cheeses, meats and craft beverages.
Signature pizzas like the Spicy Yuma pizza with a chipotle-spiked tomato sauce, chorizo, jalapeño corn, roasted red pepper and cilantro; or the Almond Pesto pizza with spinach, fresh mozzarella and artichokes, will beautifully highlight the bountiful harvests of our area.
“The density of farms and purveyors that are located within the geographic area of Asheville make it the perfect place for Harvest Pizzeria,” said Kelly. “People are conscious here of what they are eating and where it comes from. It is something that people appreciate here.”
There also will be an array of vegan items, including vegan pizzas with vegan cheese, vegan chorizo and vegan fennel sausage protein options, vegan salads and a vegan ciabatta bread option.
The Asheville location will follow in some famous eco-friendly footsteps with the vision to create their community around sustainability and the farm-to-table culture.
The original Harvest, founded in Columbus, Ohio, was created by celebrated restaurateur Chris Crader, founder of Grow Restaurants. Harvest Pizzeria Asheville marks the first Harvest Pizzeria outside of the Buckeye State.
The restaurant will be independently owned and operated by the Leus, long-time family friends of the Crader’s, and three-year residents of Asheville.
“(Chris) is a farmer at heart and had the vision of doing a farm-to-table pizzeria, which was unique back then and still is today,” Jon said. “As a farmer, he naturally wanted to create that connection to farms and a business built around practices of sustainability.”
It’s those practices that the Leus bring to every aspect of Harvest Asheville, from the historic restoration to the handcrafted dough.
“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 said.
Harvest will be open seven days a week, Sunday through Thursday, 11 a.m. to 11 p.m.; Friday and Saturday, 11 a.m. to 1 a.m.
For more information on the opening, visit www.harvestpizzeriaavl.com.