Forestry Camp

Jess Reiser and Tim Gormley



Photo by Lynne Harty

What is your favorite part of being a restaurant owner in Asheville?

The community and the celebration of all of the talent here in Asheville and beyond. We are really fortunate with the space at Forestry Camp Bar and Restaurant as we can offer two unique experiences. Downstairs is very much about community- you can pull up a seat at the bar, hang in the bar area or grab a part of a table to share with stranger who might soon become friends. Upstairs is perfect for an intimate evening with loved ones where you can dine at individual tables and experience a family style dining experience. We are honored to be able to work with other local makers as we offer bread from OWL Bakery, vegetables from Gaining Ground Farms and The Culinary Gardener, pottery from Candice Hensley and Sydney Brown, Woodworking from Dodo Woodworking and so many more. We moved to Asheville 7 years ago to start Burial Beer Co. and we were in search of a community that was supportive and passionate about local businesses. We appreciate the openness of local community members and their willingness to join the table, meet new folks and try new things. 


What is the background of your restaurant’s name?

The property where Forestry Camp Bar and Restaurant is was owned by the US Government starting in the 1930s. The property is comprised of 6 buildings that were built by the government in 1937. During that time, the property was used as home base for men who would then be assigned out to various Forestry Camps and CCC (Civilian Conservation Corp) Camps to work on the National Parks. This property was also used to store and maintain equipment that was used to execute the parks projects as well as a place where many of the signs you see on the Blue Ridge Parkway and in the National Parks in WNC were made. We are honored to play a role in the revitalization of a piece of property that was so vital to WNC economic growth. 

What is your favorite dish on your menu?

As I mentioned, we offer two unique experiences and with that, two menus both inspired by the Basque region in Northern Spain and Southern France. Chef Brian Canipelli drew inspiration from Basque cider houses and the community environment of gathering and sharing food thus all dishes are meant to be shared. As far as upstairs goes, the Grilled Chorizo or the Whole Trout dishes are simple and truly showcase the quality of the ingredients. The chorizo is made in house and the trout is a local feature from Sunburst Trout Farms. The downstairs menu features smaller bites to mirror the more casual environment and I would go with the Radicchio Leaves that features Three Graces Flamenco cheese. 

What is your favorite dish from a fellow AIR restaurant’s menu? 

Oh man that’s hard! I would have to say the Fried Chicken sandwich at Buxton Hall; the plantain and avocado starter at En La Calle, the Cardamom Bun from OWL Bakery or the Steak Dinner at Vivian!