It’s been two years since Asheville chef/pitmaster Elliott Moss posted a farewell photo of a brisket cheesesteak to his Little Louie’s Instagram account. Little Louie’s was the stupendously successful, though short-lived, weekend pop-up he did during COVID, debuting on December 5, 2020, and signing off on March 16, 2021 — not necessarily goodbye, but more like an extended vacation.
Now Little Louie’s is back in West Asheville at 1478 Patton Avenue, where Moss’s smoker (welded by his father) has taken up residence in the parking lot of neighborhood bar the Malvern.
As of March 1, the Malvern, a neighborhood gastropub known for late-night dining, quirky decor, and a popular pool table, is now Little Louie’s Hoagies & Pierogis, co-owned by Moss, Mike Piroli, and Lisa Wagner. Wagner opened the Malvern in 2017 — Piroli came on board a few years ago, and Moss joined last fall. The trio is also partners in the forthcoming Regina’s Westside in the longtime Happy Hill Diner building, also on Patton. (Rumor indicates an April reveal of the much-anticipated project.)
The Malvern partners have long discussed what to do with the establishment. A few weeks ago Moss, who moved to Asheville from West Philly 13 years ago, suggested doing Little Louie’s for lunch and the Malvern menu for dinner. Piroli was inclined to go all in on Little Louie’s, the partners agreed, and they kept the news secret for the next two weeks from all but the Malvern staff. Moss posted the news on his personal account on February 28, and Little Louie’s began service at noon the following day.
Not surprisingly, there was a crush of orders for the brisket and cheese hoagie. Other sandwich options tucked in an Amorosa roll are grilled chicken cheesesteak, smoked meatball Parmesan, smoked eggplant Parmesan, and smoked pork and rabe. All are served Louie’s Way, which on the brisket means banana peppers, caramelized onions, cheese sauce, and Louie’s sauce. A quartet of pierogis, smoked wings, Louie fries, fried broccoli and cauliflower, a Caesar salad, and a Thin Mint cannoli complete the opening menu. Expect a tofu banh mi to be added soon.
Piroli says all of the Malvern staff, as well as the pool table, are staying and that Moss has added some of his stuff to the walls.
Little Louie’s Hoagies & Pierogis is open Wednesday through Sunday, from noon to 10 p.m. with the bar open until midnight.