It took 13 months for chef Elliott Moss to open Regina’s (1400 Patton Avenue, Asheville), his dream restaurant with a menu devoted to his personal spin on comfort classics and midcentury modern decor with shelves chock full of his beloved collection of memorabilia, travel souvenirs, kitsch, and tchotchkes.
Less than six weeks after opening day on June 1, Regina’s has suddenly changed gears, boasting an all-day brunch, and, supposedly, Moss is no longer in the kitchen there, nor at Little Louie’s Hoagies & Pierogis (1478 Patton Avenue), which he and partners opened in March.
Neither Moss nor managing partner Mike Piroli responded to requests for comment, though puzzling signs were apparent earlier this week when Regina’s, which operated Wednesday through Saturday, from 11:30 a.m. to 8 p.m., and Sundays, from 11:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., was dark Wednesday, July 5. That afternoon, a notice was taped to the front door stating, “Closed Wednesday & Thursday! We’re installing new air conditioning!! We apologize for any inconvenience!!” However, no HVAC trucks were seen on Regina’s property on Wednesday or Thursday.
The last social post on Regina’s, normally active, Instagram account was Sunday, July 2, with photos of brunch items and video of the kitchen.
On Wednesday, July 5, a source close to the restaurant group told Eater that Moss had departed Regina’s a few days earlier. Staff received an afternoon email informing them that management was discussing how to move forward, with the possibility of changing the menu to all-day brunch. The source also revealed that lawyers were involved. Regina’s opening press agency, Sprouthouse, said they were no longer working with Regina’s.
Late day Thursday, the operating hours posted on the large marque in the parking lot came down, and in its place: “ALL DAY BRUNCH STARTS FRI 10-3” Service hours were also changed on Regina’s Instagram account. As of Friday, July 5, Moss’s opening menu remains on Regina’s website.
Moss, a South Carolina native who worked and lived in Philadelphia before moving back South, arrived in Asheville in 2005. He worked at several restaurants, including the Admiral, was twice a James Beard Best Chef Southeast nominee, and partnered with chef/restaurateur Meherwan Irani (Chai Pani) in 2015 to open Buxton Hall Barbecue. Moss was the chef and pitmaster of the popular whole-hog South Slope restaurant. He and Irani parted ways in the summer of 2022. He then went on to open Little Louie’s Hoagies & Pierogis and Regina’s in West Asheville.