The Asheville Pizza & Brewing empire continues to grow. Just a year after opening the third arm of the company in south Asheville, owner Mike Rangel is expanding again. This time, he's building an event space.
Rangel will open the hybrid project — part dance hall, part music venue, part meeting space — in the former garage at 66 Asheland Ave. The building, tentatively named The Slice, will connect to the Coxe Avenue Asheville Brewing via a flight of stairs and a covered walkway.
“Opening up, we're definitely going to try to be an affordable rehearsal space for weddings and for rehearsal dinners and for local bands and nonprofit groups — a place to meet,” Rangel says. “I'm real big into the electronic dance music, so we're definitely going to do some dance nights and bring some DJs in.”
Rangel says he wants the space's identity to develop organically. “We want it to evolve,” he says. “We feel like it’s ultimately going to dictate what its best use is.”
No matter what the Asheland Avenue building becomes, Rangel knows he wants its services to remain affordable. When it comes to wedding receptions, he says he thinks high facility-rental fees are beyond the budgets of most couples.
The building can seat 225 to 250 people. While it won't house a full kitchen, commercial-grade coolers and microwaves will be available for catered events. Rangel says he will welcome groups with outside caterers, although Asheville Brewing will be available to provide food.
He says he's not planning to open another theater facility like the one at Asheville Pizza & Brewing on Merrimon Avenue, but the Asheland Avenue building will house a large projector and screen.
Rangel hopes to open the new venue by mid-January.