Story by Belle Crawford | Photos by Joye Ardyn Durham
Sean Piper, owner of Jargon restaurant in West Asheville, celebrates the many idiosyncrasies that make people special. This appreciation for authenticity comes across in Jargon’s eclectic and multitalented staff as well as in the unique menu items created by the restaurant’s team of talented culinary artists.
“My goal is to have a place where folks can come, forget about the world outside and be treated to a great experience,” says Piper. “Owning and operating a restaurant takes a lot of dedication and hard work. My entire staff is vital and we all deeply care about the experience each of our guests has in ‘our home.’”
Jargon is located in a small, nationally registered historical building that was on the brink of condemnation before Sean and his wife Shelly lovingly restored it. The tables are made from old bowling alley material, the chairs are reclaimed vintage pieces from Odd Fellows Antiques, the lighting fixtures are hand-blown glass pendants from Lexington Glass and the water glasses are handmade out of wine bottles by Jargon staff.
“I worked in the restaurant biz for many years and worked in all positions,” says Piper. “I just loved it but wanted to try something different, so I went to film school. From there I moved to Los Angeles and worked in the film industry for 15 years. I enjoyed being part of some amazing projects, but all the while I dreamed of my restaurant concept.”
In the beginning, Piper was turned down by bank after bank nationwide because a start-up restaurant with little collateral was just too risky for an investment. “I never let it discourage me,” he says. “Right when I thought the impossibility of it all was just too great, an investor dropped from the sky and a small bank outside Charlotte agreed to an SBA loan.”
Jargon’s menu items fall loosely under the American cuisine category because the food is as eclectic as the melting pot we call home. “At Jargon, we don’t put ourselves in any particular culinary box, finding inspiration from the places we’ve been, from music and books and from people we’ve met. On any given night you may find cuisine from Europe, Asia and the Caribbean.”
Some of Jargon’s most popular dishes include the deep-fried deviled eggs, oven-roasted octopus with fava beans and chorizo, the avocado-arugula bisque and the General Tso’s quail. “We are also very conscious of our guests who have particular allergies or other dietary restrictions,” Piper says.
Food is not the only thing at Jargon that people get excited about. “Our incredible cocktail program is headed by our ‘mad scientist’ Maty Hollingsworth. From beer and wine to fine liquors, Maty is a true master at combining ingredients to create incredible concoctions. If you’re in the mood for a specific liquor, sit at his bar and have him whip up something spectacular.”
Jargon is located at 715 Haywood Road in West Asheville. Find Jargon online at jargonrestaurant.com as well as on Facebook and Instagram. Email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 828.785.1761 for reservations.