Photo by Daniel Stewart

WNC paddle sports on the rise: River use is up locally and nationally­; area retailers seeing more revenue

Few people spend more time on Western North Carolina’s rivers than Chris Gragtmans. Our waterways, he says, have become increasingly popular with outdoor enthusiasts in the past few years — a sentiment echoed by a number of local leaders in the paddle-sports industry. What’s more, the trend is national. And while local excursion providers, rental […]

With about 10,000 members, private club Broadway's has become a downtown staple best known for its eclectic programming (from live bands to '80s-themed parties, karaoke and trivia) and an obsession with PBR. Memorabilia lines the bar's walls inside and out, along with red and blue paint to match the beer's logo. Photo of owner Ted Warner and his Captain Frederick Pabst mural by Kat McReynolds

Ted Warner, former Broadway’s owner and local nightlife influentia­l, exits the business

Warner finalized the sale of his Lexington Ave. bar to husband and wife team Khio and Mindy Dinh of Morganton after a serious heath scare cemented his decision to exit the industry. Although he’s divesting his involvement, Warner’s legacy in the local club scene remains significant.

Not only will local photographer Ken Abbott's pictures of Hickory Nut Gap Farm make it into his forthcoming book Useful Work, but the artist's visuals will also be on display at the Asheville Art Museum from Friday, July 24, until Sunday, October 11. Photo of longtime farm employee Clarence McAbee by Abbott

Faces in the crowd: WNC crowdfundi­ng initiative­s

Each week, Xpress highlights notable WNC crowdsourcing initiatives that may inspire readers to become new faces in the crowd. This week features a photo book capturing Hickory Nut Gap Farm’s storied past and present, a “Barnraiser” to help the farm build a kitchen and butchery on-site and a mobile app for mental wellness information hub MindPod Network.

FRESH FARE : Kostas Dotsikas at Papa's Pizza strives to use fresh, local ingredients in his Greek dishes.

Quick dish: A slice of Greece at Papa’s Pizza

Although Papa’s Pizza’s location on New Leicester Highway is removed from the bustle of the Asheville food scene, owner Kostas Dotsikas‘s vision is one familiar to downtown foodies: Greek dishes made from scratch with local ingredients. Dotsikas bought Papa’s Pizza in 2002 and runs it with the help of his sister; wife, Amy Dotsikas; and parents, Jimmy and Tina Dotsikas, who […]

RIVER RUNS THROUGH: Looking south, a calm French Broad flows well within its banks, with New Belgium Brewery under construction on the right. Drone photography by Dan Caylor

Costs and benefits: What’s the price of riverfront revitaliza­tion?

In her landmark 1955 book, The French Broad, Asheville author Wilma Dykeman said the river was “above all, a region of life, with all the richness and paradox of life.” She described a watershed rich in flora and fauna, ranging from the “fertile fields and gentle fall” through Transylvania and Henderson counties to the sudden “plunge between steep mountains” around Asheville, “strewn with jagged boulders.”