The restaurant business is never easy. Add a long recession and anemic recovery and it gets even tougher.
Square One Bistro, the Tractor Shed, Bluewater Seafood and Roula's Country Kitchen in Hendersonville all closed in 2012, as did Dog Town in Mills River.
But restaurants come in as often as they go out. The Square Root replaced Square One downtown and Nancy Lynn's Diner and Pizzeria replaced Dog Town.
More new restaurants are on the way.
Moe's Original Barbecue plans to open at the former Expressions location at 114 N. Main St. early next year. "I couldn't ask for a better location with all the festivals there," said Dave Rice, an owner of a Moe's in Biltmore Village. "It's not your typical Carolina style, which sort of differentiates us from most of the places." The menu includes barbecue pork, chicken and turkey, chicken wings, catfish and sides.
Just up the block, owners of the building that housed Sinclair Office Supply are working on a restaurant that will offer rooftop dining.
Kelsey's restaurant reopened in December when the owners of Mills River Family Restaurant took over.
Bluewater Seafood closed in October after 10 years. Owners Tracy and David Griffin said the costs of fuel, labor and seafood and the "frustrating economy" led to their "difficult decision to close." New owners plan to open a seafood restaurant at that location in January.
Roula's closed after its owners were charged with writing worthless checks to their landlords and suppliers. One of the owners was charged in a felony fugitive warrant for bad checks from Kingsport, Tenn., where he also ran a restaurant that left employees without paychecks.