Reopening Day of French Broad Chocolate Lounge ~ A Big Chocolate Party in Dowtown Asheville!
Moving away has been fun but heartbreaking. One of the things I will always miss most about living in the Asheville area is attempting to home-school my boys at French Broad Chocolate Lounge with all of us jacked up on rich desserts and hot beverages. Wi-Fi and plenty of provided outlets meant that I could work on graphics while they plugged in to do their lessons on their own laptops, sometimes with their father on the first floor below getting sugared up with potential clients for his mobile app business. So learning that the chocolate lounge would be reopening on the day I planned to visit Asheville with my recently relocated little family felt like we were truly coming home.
Once we walked through the front doors of the new location in the old Suntrust Bank on Pack Square, I was just giddy enough to feel like all the bustling activity was an actual welcome home party thrown for us. Were we officially tourists, with a little farm sitting empty just over the blue ridges? We weren’t sure, but knew that, since visits to our favorite little shop are now few and far between, we’d better enjoy every last morsel of the chocolate party that was going on inside those walls on opening day.
A new system allows customers to order drinks at one register before sliding down the line past all of French Broad’s heavenly creations and its impressive truffle line-up to finish making purchases.
I quickly realized how brilliantly efficient the system worked to prevent the formation of lines of visitors such as those that would stretch out the door and up the block at the old location.
There was still a crowd of people gathered when we visited within the first fifteen minutes of the eatery’s reopening, but all of the patrons seemed to be fitting inside the warm interior of the shop rather than cascading out the door and along the square on the chilly fall day.
I was there to eat chocolate, but I was just as antsy to see the building’s original tile floors that were mentioned in a Facebook post when the renovations began earlier this year. They are just as beautiful as I had hoped they would be, and as I did when I first saw a photo of them, I wondered if my sweet godmother, who lived for years off of Merrimon Ave., had walked those tiled floors on her visits downtown. I wondered what she would have thought of today’s Asheville with a fabulous chocolate shop right on the square.
It was so sweet to see the owners, Dan and Jael, behind the counter. Anyone who has had a single bite of anything that has come out of French Broad Chocolate Lounge knows that great things happen when these two put their heads together. Let’s hope they never stop! Go read their story on the chocolate lounge’s website. I LOVE it. They own their own cacao farm!
Speaking of great ideas, the new location features a boutique called Chocolate + Milk with a separate entrance customers can use to skip the pastry line to buy individual bars of chocolate or homemade ice cream.
We tasted the chocolate sorbet. Of course it was out of this world.
The four of us had our favorites in mind, however, so waited for our turn to order in the main portion of the lounge.
I usually have trouble straying from the lounge’s Quintessential Chocolate Cake, but decided this time that I had to finally try the chocolate mousse. Dang it! Why didn’t I do that sooner?!
I’ve never had any idea what I’ve been missing out on.
But of course, while I was enjoying spoonful after creamy, whippy spoonful, I was eyeballing my son’s slice of Quintessential Chocolate Cake and feeling as if I was missing out on it.
And my other son’s truffles ~one raspberry and one cafe’ au lait… It was kind of killing me to be missing out on them. Thank goodness a nice lady was walking around giving out free samples! And, yes, I did feed my family chocolate for lunch, following a balanced breakfast…and we didn’t eat again for hours and hours!
My husband chose a perfectly French macaron. Beautiful!
I brought the reopening day “chocolate party” to a friend who couldn’t make it with one of French Broad Chocolate Lounge’s ribbon-wrapped truffle assortments.
And now that I’ve shared our latest culinary adventure, I’m homesick. Again. It’s a good thing that French Broad Chocolate Lounge ships their amazing confections. I may just order myself a little Christmas package so I can sit up here in the Alleghenies with a little taste of home. Chocolate party!!!
10 Pack Square
Asheville, NC 28801
Sunday – Thursday, 11 to 11
Friday and Saturday, 11 to Midnight
Chocolate + Milk Boutique
Monday – Friday, 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Saturday and Sunday, 9 a.m. to 8 p.m.
21 Buxton Ave.
Asheville, NC 28801
Open daily, Noon – 6 p.m.
Tours by reservation every Saturday at 11 a.m.