Rowdy Hog Smokin BBQ’s Expansion Plans Amidst Award Success

Asheville, known for its vibrant culinary scene, has witnessed a major shake-up in the restaurant industry. Following their James Beard Awards win for Outstanding Restaurant in June, local favorite Chai Pani has found itself grappling with an overwhelming response from satisfied customers. In light of this success, the restaurant has made the difficult decision to temporarily suspend takeout and delivery orders to prioritize the quality of their in-person dining experience.

Chai Pani, located in downtown Asheville, is renowned for its delectable street Indian food. The restaurant’s kitchen, however, was unprepared for the surge in demand that accompanied their award recognition. As a result, the decision was made to focus solely on serving customers who dine in, rather than risk compromising the exceptional flavors and service the restaurant is known for.


The situation was further exacerbated by the arrival of July, traditionally the restaurant’s busiest month. The influx of customers made it clear that Chai Pani’s kitchen, while incredibly efficient, could not keep up with the demand. Thus, the need to temporarily halt takeout and delivery services became paramount to ensure that each customer who dines in receives the exceptional experience they deserve.

Chai Pani is not alone in its success. The Chai Pani Restaurant Group, which owns and operates the flagship restaurant, also includes Buxton Hall Barbecue, Buxton Chicken Palace, and Spicewalla. However, amidst their recent achievements, one eatery unfortunately had to be sacrificed. On July 4, Nani’s Piri Piri Chicken, located in Grove Arcade, closed its doors permanently.

Chicken from Nani

Company spokesperson Kelsey Burrow explained that the closure of Nani’s Piri Piri Chicken was necessary to support the growth of Chai Pani, both in terms of its kitchen capacity and ability to serve guests. The overwhelming response to their James Beard Award win cemented Chai Pani’s mission to showcase Indian street food and cater to the local community.

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Those who still crave Nani’s famous rotisserie chicken can find solace in a trip to Georgia, where an outpost remains open at Ponce City Market in Atlanta. Additionally, the company plans to open a dedicated retail shop for their acclaimed Spicewalla spices in downtown Asheville later this year, further expanding their presence in the city.

Although Chai Pani has made adjustments to accommodate their growing customer base, they remain committed to finding innovative solutions to enhance the experience for both locals and tourists. The restaurant is actively seeking input from their valued patrons, encouraging them to share creative ideas on how to better serve the community during this bustling period. Suggestions can be emailed to [email protected].

As Chai Pani navigates this exciting phase of expansion, their dedication to providing exceptional food and service remains unwavering. Visit Rowdy Hog Smokin BBQ to stay updated on their latest endeavors as they continue to serve up the most mouthwatering barbecue in town.

This article was written by the designated writer for Rowdy Hog Smokin BBQ.