Biltmore Grill sold, but will return

dish-biltmoregrillThe Biltmore Grill on Elliewood Avenue was sold yesterday, but will re-open in August.

Biltmore Grill manager Katie Russell confirms that the Corner restaurant and bar, once named to a Playboy list of hot bars and home of the infamous Survivor Hour, was sold yesterday. After 14 years, it appears the poor economy prompted owner Tim O'Neil, who also owned the recently sold O'Neil's Irish Pub, to throw in the towel.

"It was time to get out," says Russell.

However, Biltmore fans needn't mourn. Russell says the new owners plan on re-opening as the Biltmore Grill in August. Russell won't say who the new owners are, but she does confirm that they are current Corner restaurant owners.

The building, long owned by Corner property owner Ann Albright, was built as a boarding house in 1945, then became a Mexican restaurant called Tortilla Flats in the 1970s. Later, it became the Coach House Inn and then Graffiti. In 1989, it was transformed into the Biltmore Grill by Dillon Baynes and a quiet North Carolina investor. Baynes is now a corporate developer in Atlanta, who happens to be spearheading Coran Capshaw's Coal Tower development project.

On the heels of another Playboy mention in 1987, in which UVA was ranked the 10th best party school in the nation, Baynes oversaw the expansion of the building in the early 1990s, adding a ground level, a new back room upstairs, and solidifying its reputation as a place to party on the Corner.

–Last updated Tuesday, May 26 at 3:57pm

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