Honest American Food with Big Flavors that Utilize the Bountiful Products of our Region and the Rich History of European Cuisine




A Husband & Wife Team on a Mission

Josiah and Shannon McGaughey began the journey of opening a restaurant as a mere tabletop kitchen pop up inside Burial Beer Co in 2015.  It was a great way to put Josiah’s food out there to see if people enjoyed his style—luckily for us they did, and within a year we were opening what became the permanent food truck known as Salt & Smoke.  Although Salt & Smoke operated through window service, we aimed to offer restaurant caliber service and cuisine, all plated on paper plates!  We were graced with many accolades and wonderfully appreciative guests during the time running the truck, including being on the cover of Beer Advocate! During this time, we were constantly on hunt for the brick and mortar restaurant space.

It was long and strenuous, but in the end we couldn’t have asked for a better location, or more amazing folks to work with along the way.  We were extremely excited to take over space previously occupied by The Junction, as owners Charles and Tanya Triber leave their business to free up valuable time for their family.  The River Arts District truly was our first home when we moved to Asheville in 2013 when Josiah was helping to open The Bull and Beggar as a line cook.  We can’t wait to get integrated into the community once more, with all the incredible artists and small business it has to offer!

Vivian is named after Josiah’s grandmother who was a driving force in his culinary upbringing as she hosted grand dinner parties in a Julia Child-like fashion as he was growing up in Georgia.  Josiah’s menu continues to explore the work he’s already presented at Salt & Smoke, but he’s truly challenging himself as he elevates his cuisine within our new comforting casual dining space.  The food is clean, with limited elements to a plate, but with each one promising big, robust flavors.  As he focuses on combining the perfect mix of flavors across appetizers, small plates, entrees, and desserts while continuing to explore the melding of European flavors and techniques into the realm of his Southern heritage.  We’re elated to finally have a full kitchen so that we can take on more of the region’s incredible farmers.  The menu is seasonal and changes frequently, with weekly specials to boot!  And best of all, a full service dinner restaurant means we can finally present a full drink menu to our guests.  We offer a large wine list with unique and delectable old world varietals that will compliment the food.  Guests will also see a lot of pre-prohibition classics on our cocktail list with additional craft cocktails that explore similar themes as the culinary concept.  And of course, we’ll continue to promote all the talented breweries of Asheville with local taps available and special releases from our friends at Burial Beer Co. 

Vivian is a small cozy home we'd like you to think of as your own.  Full dining is available at the bar, but we do not accept reservations for those seats, just walk on in!  For reservations in the main dining room or on the patio, please call or click below to make a reservation!  


Recent Press

Viv Takes Home Two Mountain Xpress Best oF Awards!

3rd Place Best European Restaurant and 2nd place Best Restaurant in the River Arts District!


VIvian wins Best New Restaurant & Restaurant of the Year!!

Vivian takes home to HUGE prizes at the annual Stoobie awards, so honored that in only one year we are being shown so much love!


Katie Button Names Vivian as an AVL Fav!

In a James Beard Foundation recent article, Button lists Viv as a French favorite, siting our Souffle Omelette and Lobster Quenelle.


Oct 29, 2018: Garden & Gun names Vivian as a must do while visiting Asheville!

Sept 2018: Owner Shannon McGaughey’s wine list gets named by John Kerr as one of the best in Asheville! Check out the full article here.


Vivian wins Best New Restaurant in

Every year local Ashevillians cast their vote in the Mountain Xpress “Best Of” Contest, and out of all the new and wonderful places that opened in AVL, y’all picked us! Thanks so so much!

June 21, 2018: Chef Josiah McGaughey speaks on sustainability in today’s restaurant industry.

June 2, 2018: The Carolina Epicurean raves all about her dining experience at Vivian here!


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June, 2018: Need a tasty beverage? Citizen Times knows we’ve gotcha covered!

Feb 8, 2018: Straight Talk Food gives a “No Bullshit” review of Vivian

Feb 6. 2018: Citizen Times talks on the transition from food truck to brick and mortar

Feb 1, 2018: Local food connoisseur, Stu Helm, is reeeeal pumped about Vivian’s French Classics, and we couldn’t agree more

Dec 14, 2018: Citizen Times announces Vivian’s Opening

Oct 2017: WLOS reports on our excitement of snagging a brick and mortar location




shannon Mcgaughey


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Sarah Roach

Sous Chef


Josiah McGaughey

Owner/Exec Chef

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— Pablo