Restaurateur Eric Scheffer of Vinnie's Neighborhood Italian - Biography

Asheville, NC

June 2010

At his establishments, restaurateur and sommelier Eric Scheffer brings experiences from his extensive travels and visits to some of the world's finest restaurants. A former television and film producer, he traveled all over the world as he worked with many well-known actors and musicians. Settling into the commercial television side of entertainment, Scheffer spent many years living in Los Angeles and Rio de Janeiro. During his long stints in South America, he developed a passion for South American wines.

After Southern California's 1994 earthquake and a series of crimes too close to home, Scheffer and his wife set out to find a safer area to raise a family. Friends introduced them to Asheville, North Carolina, and they immediately fell in love with the city's charm. With the birth of their daughter, Scheffer searched for a career that would give him more time to spend with family and friends. Scheffer's immense love for food and wine, coupled with his insatiable need to entertain, catapulted him into the restaurant business.

Purchasing Savoy in 2000, Scheffer began to overhaul the restaurant's wine list by tastefully infusing Californian and South American influences. The result was a list that Wine Spectator hails as one of the country's best. In April of 2001, Scheffer became sole proprietor of Savoy and continued to evolve and improve the dining experience. With a complete renovation of the restaurant's interior and the addition of a walk-up martini bar, he has created a sophisticated dining ambience unrivaled in Asheville. Scheffer's years in the entertainment industry have made him a natural restaurateur as he brings style and Hollywood showmanship to his establishments. In 2010, Savoy closed and was re-opened with a new name and concept as Vinnie's Neighborhood Italian.