Asian Rim draws an ace for downtown dining

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Huntsville has had an influx of quality dining establishments of late with new developments attracting bigger and bigger talent into town, but Asian Rim has landed quite the catch in their new restaurant manager Cristophe Ithurritze.


Chef Christophe Ithurritze

Born in the South of France, Chirstophe earned his culinary degree at the age of 17 years old and eventually found his way to Hollywood, Las Vegas and Chicago where he worked with Wolfgang Puck as a pastry chef for a total of 15 years as a partner, Corporate Chef and Director of Pastry.

The number of awards and recognitions he’s earned throughout his career, including, 4th place at the Worldwide Olympic Pastry Competition in 1999, “Best Pastry Chef in Las Vegas” 2001, and the Las Vegas “Up-coming Chef of the Year” award in 2003, could fill up the rest of this article alone.

And after only being open for three short months, downtown’s newest asian sensation, Asian Rim, has brought him to Huntsville.

Asian Rim, which first opened its doors on December 5th of last year, has been quickly making a name for itself in the Huntsville dining community and owner Roy Hockman couldn’t be more excited about the addition of his new restaurant manager Christophe.  “It’s a game changer for us quite frankly.” said Roy. “I see Christophe coming in like a new head coach.  We’ve already had a good system in place, but we’re looking to kick it up even more.”

Roy, who has lead a former life as an Outback Steakhouse franchisee, had all but retired from his working days when he says, “after watching the 4th rerun of the Andy Griffith Show, I thought I might want to get back to doing something.”

Roy was inspired to start his search for the perfect new restaurant concept, “I had a blank canvas, so I started calling around knowing that food is the epicenter of any restaurant.” And after many phone calls, dozens of visits to asian eateries around the country and interviewing numerous culinary firms and consulting groups, Asian Rim was born.

With an overwhelming response to their original Birmingham location, Asian Rim began looking to expand its regional footprint and set its eye on Huntsville. “It’s a phenomenal market,” says Roy.  “The economy is bustling, it’s steady and I think the people here are pretty phenomenal quick frankly, Mayor Tommy Battle, Chad Emerson, Judy Ryals, everyone has been very supportive.  Not to mention we feel like we have an A+ location.”

Opening the restaurant on the first floor of a hospital/office complex may not have been the obvious choice to most, but Roy couldn’t be more thrilled with their urban local. “Wesley Crunkleton, of Crunkleton & Associates, was instrumental in getting us the space,” said Roy. “It’s magnificent, and it has a nice commerce feel to it, but it also has a tremendous neighborhood where we’re connected to the hospital via the skybridge and have a great relationship with Homewood Suites and the Artisan Apartments.”

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And since opening three months ago, the neighborhood hasn’t let them down yet, “It’s been phenomenal,” stated Roy.  “We’ve developed great friendships, and there seems to be a lot of enthusiasm for the concept.  I’m highly excited about getting the affirmation of the location with the guest response, the logistics to the hospital, just the whole package has been very gratifying and we’re just excited to be here.”

For his part, Christophe was looking for a change.

“I was ready to get out of the west coast, you know the fast paced life,” commented Christophe.

“I’ve done that for 20 plus years and I’m ready to slow down a little bit.”

And after a chance meeting through a mutual friend, the partnership between Roy and Christophe was born.

But Christophe isn’t only excited about embracing the southern lifestyle, he’s also excited for the new challenges awaiting him and for what he sees as a brand new opening for the restaurant. “Even though it’s been open for 6 weeks, I really see it as a grand opening because we’re going to start from scratch.”

Part of that includes training he wants to give to the staff. “I like to train my guys, especially in the kitchen, to bring them what I know and what I’ve done,” commented Christophe. “It’s not all about me, it’s about them. It’s about what they want to bring and invest of themselves.”

As to what we have to look forward to as far as the menu goes?  Christophe couldn’t divulge too much just yet, but what he could say was that they have already begun work on the lunch menu, “we really want to make it accessible to everybody and guarantee that they can be in and out in 30 minutes.  We want to make sure that people can come in and get a great bite to eat from our quick lunch menu and get them back to work.”  In addition to the changes in the lunch menu, they’ll also be introducing a new brunch menu on Saturdays and Sundays in March.

For dinner?  “We want to try to get serious about the food and really kick it up a notch offering a wider selection of high-end product.  Not necessarily a wider menu, but something more unique and consistent.”

One thing Christophe will say for certain is that “the quality and technique of the cooking will be next to none.”

Asian Rim’s operating hours are:
Mon – Thurs: 11:00am – 10:00pm
Fri-Sat: 11:00am – 11:00pm
Sun: 11:00am – 9:00pm
720 Gallatin Street SW Huntsville, Alabama 35801

Be sure to check out Asian Rim’s private Bonsai room for your next catered function!

Connect with them online at: | Facebook | Instagram | Twitter




2014 at Crunkleton & Associates: Our Year in Review

2014 has been a big year here at Crunkleton & Associates. Here are just a few of our proudest moments from 2014!


Crunkleton & Associates Joins “The Avenue” Project Downtown

In June of 2014, Crunkleton & Associates announced their involvement with “The Avenue,” a five-story, mixed-use development that will feature 21,000 square feet of street-level restaurant and retail space downtown. In addition to the retail center, the project will also host 193 loft-style apartments and a large on-site parking garage.

Developer Charlie Sealy stated that he believes the project will be “another game-changer for downtown” and we completely agree!

The first phases of the project are scheduled to open in January 2016, and the entire project should be finished by that April.

Crunkleton & Associates Brings New Dining Options To Huntsville

One of our favorite things that we were able to do this year was help facilitate bringing several brand new dining options to Huntsville as part of the Twickenham Square project!

Asian Rim

This Birmingham-based restaurant specializing in Thai food, sushi, Pan-Asian infused cuisine and American fare announced that it would be joining the tenants at Twickenham Square in August and opened its doors for business on Dec. 5th.

Our favorite thing on the menu?  The sushi, hands down!

Cajun Steamer

From a small roadside stand where he dished up recipes he grew up eating in Louisiana, to his brand new 3,000 square foot restaurant here in Huntsville, owner Jeff Thompson has come a long way with his Birmingham-based eatery.

Cajun Steamer, which is scheduled to open in the next month, will feature classic Cajun cuisine such as gumbo, jambalaya, boudin and étouffée, oysters, crawfish and, of course, Po-boys.

Oh and did we mention homemade beignets!? We’re just a little excited about the beignets.

Taco Mama

Taco Mama added its third northern Alabama, and first Huntsville location to Twickenham Square in the fall of 2014, growing from its Mountain Brook and Tuscaloosa locations and the founders couldn’t be more excited. “To now be joining a community like Huntsville, that has boasted so much growth and positivity over the past decade, our team couldn’t ask for anything more,” commented Will Haver, Taco Mama Owner and Founder.

We love the laid back atmosphere and fast service that is perfect for a quick work lunch as well as the freshly prepared tacos, burritos, nachos and Mexican fare.

Chocolate Martini Bar

Chocolate lovers jumped for joy earlier this fall when we announced the fifth and final restaurant that would be joining the Twickenham Square development: Chocolate Martini Bar.

This swanky eatery will be dishing up a wide range of traditional and “liquid desserts” in addition to a full menu of savory items, each with their own unique chocolaty twist.

And while we’re excited about all the delicious chocolate fare, (I mean who doesn’t like chocolate?) it’s the free chair massages the restaurant plans to offer every Wednesday night to anyone who stops in that has us really excited for them to open their doors in the spring of this year!

Crunkleton & Associates Breaks Ground On Their New Offices!

One of the most exciting things for us here at Crunkleton & Associates this year was the ground breaking for our new offices on October 14th of 2014!

Over the last several years, we have been growing and expanding our roster of talented individuals in order to continually provide the best possible service to our clients. All that growth has been amazing for our business but tough on our personal space.

The new 18,000 square foot office complex we will be joining is part of a unique expansion project for legal firm Maynard Cooper & Gale in Huntsville, AL. The law firm will occupy the entire second floor of the building, and Crunkleton & Associates is excited to be sharing the first floor space with GW Jones Properties.

And the best part? Our new building is right across the street from where we are currently located. How’s that for a convenient move?

Crunkleton & Associates Completes Construction and Fully Leases Legacy Marketplace

Announced in early 2014, Crunkleton & Associates completed work on Legacy Marketplace earlier this year and is excited to announce that it has now fully leased the development. Among the tenants are:

  • Dunkin’ Donuts (This location marked the first Dunkin’ Donuts in southeast Huntsville!)
  • Radio Shack
  • Jimmy Johns
  • Legacy Nails
  • And one more mystery tenant that we will be announcing very soon!

Crunkleton & Associates Expands Valley Bend Shopping Center

2014 also brought us the opportunity to help facilitate the expansion of the Valley Bend shopping center in Jones Valley with addition of Kirkland’s and by creating a larger retail space for Fleet Feet Sports.

Crunkleton & Associates Brokers Two Major Land Deals

Crunkleton & Associates was proud to be a part of two major land deals this year.   One for the site of the new Walmart in Hazel Green and the other for the site of the New Veterans Facility.

Crunkleton & Associates Grows Property Management

This year Crunkleton & Associates surpassed the one million square foot mark for properties managed with the addition of three new properties!

Crunkleton & Associates Gives Back

Among out proudest moments in 2014 are the times when we were able to give back to the community by donating to non-profits or sponsoring community events.  Here are just a few of the organizations we were proud to support in 2014 and hope you may consider supporting in 2015.

  • The Huntsville Museum Of Art
  • Downtown Huntsville Inc.
  • The Autism Society of Alabama
  • The Huntsville Hospital Foundation
  • Second Mile Development
  • The Huntsville/Madison Boys and Girls Club
  • The Huntsville Fraternal Order of Police

Thanks For Helping Make 2014 Amazing!

We Can’t Wait To See Where 2015 Takes Us!


Kadie Pangburn
Marketing Coordinator
Crunkleton & Associates