All About Early Girl Eatery

Stehling family portrait

Early Girl Eatery opened its doors in mid October of 2001. Centrally located in downtown Asheville on historic Wall Street, the critically-acclaimed and locally beloved eatery offers delicious southern food in a casual, charming atmosphere.

The Early Girl serves dinner Tuesday through Saturday night with a well crafted beer and wine menu and offers breakfast and lunch 7 days a week. Regulars’ favorites include pan-fried free range chicken with herb gravy for dinner, the local sausage and sweet potato scramble for breakfast and the almond and ginger salad almost anytime.


Owners John and Julie Stehling

John and Julie Stehling met in Charleston, South Carolina where they both worked for John’s brother at the Hominy Grill. From Charleston they traveled extensively both across the country and throughout Asia. Thoughts of settling down always brought them back to Asheville and back to the dream of owning their own restaurant.

John does the cooking. He grew up a proud North Carolinian with a big garden and a mom whose cookies were killer lunchtime barter. Julie does the talking. She grew up in a tight-knit community where food, conversation and supporting your neighbors mattered.

They envisioned Early Girl as a spot where all of this could come together – a place for straightforward, delicious, locally sourced meals, for desserts worth the sugar, and with a dining room where laughter and loud conversation filled the space. They have always thought of Early Girl as a way to be part of Asheville, raising their children in a community they are contributing to. Feeding people and providing a space where people are happy to be fed may not be rocket science but everyday they consider it an honor and a privilege to open the doors.