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Chef Eric Scheffer wearing a hat and smiling at the camera

Eric Scheffer

Owner | Chef

Eric Scheffer has been a pioneer and driving force of the Asheville food scene for over 24 years. Originally from Brooklyn and raised on Long Island, Scheffer left behind a successful television and advertising career in L.A. to chase his true passions: food, wine, and people.

After purchasing and completely revamping The Savoy restaurant in 2000 to become one of the country’s preeminent fine dining restaurants – as well as putting Asheville on the map as a restaurant destination – he went on to co-found the Asheville Independent Restaurant Association, now a collective advocacy group of over 170 members.

Following the economic downturn of 2007, Eric pivoted, closing the Savoy and reopening the restaurant as Vinnie’s Neighborhood Italian. An homage to the American-Italian restaurants of the Northeast, he wanted to provide the community with the same sense of family, warmth, and comfort that he grew up with.

The incredible success of Vinnie’s and an unparalleled business acumen has allowed Eric to expand his scope with Asheville’s premier upscale seafood restaurant, Jettie Rae’s Oyster House in 2020; a second Vinnie’s location in South Asheville in 2021; and the recent acquisition of an Asian-fusion fast casual restaurant, Gan Shan West in 2023