Club 828 and The Hookah Bar face an uncertain future

Rumors have been circulating that Club 828 and The Hookah Bar, two of the nightclubs located in the 38 N. French Broad St./64 Carter St. compound, have closed. While the future of Club 828 currently remains up in the air (there is a note posted on the door which reads, “This property is closed until further notice”), Hookah Bar is, according to a representative, closed.

“My communications with upper management have been limited and future plans for the hookah bar & 828 are uncertain, but the hookah bar is closed at the moment,” writes Brad Lovejoy, former marketing manager for both clubs. He says his main concern is to direct “music fans to see their favorite groups at the newly assigned venues … tomorrow always offers another opportunity in Asheville. We have a lot of talented music industry professionals here and I expect to see good things in the near future.”

To that end, Club 828’s website still lists an upcoming schedule, including Agobi Project & KiloWatts on Saturday, Sept. 4; DJ Logic on Monday, Sept. 6; Sci Fi on Friday, Sept. 10; Boombox on Saturday, Sept. 11; Frontier Ruckus on Sunday, Sept. 12 and Future Rock on Wednesday, Sept. 15.

• Agobi Project has yet to be rescheduled but KiloWatts plays The Garage at Biltmore on Sunday, Sept. 5.

• The DJ Logic show has been moved to Stella Blue (still on Sept. 6) as has Frontier Ruckus (Sept. 12) and Future Rock with Orchard Lounge (Sept. 15.)

• New dates for SciFi and Boombox are not yet available. UPDATE from Club 828 via Twitter: “Boombox & Emancipator Show moved over to Pisgah Brewing Company. Sat. Sept. 11. Gonna be massive.”

• UPDATE via email from Club Eleven: “We picked up some of Club 828/Hookah Bar shows. DRUM & BASS with Data (London, UK); Roger & Jeremy (Atlanta,GA) and Xist & D:Raf (Asheville). Saturday, Sept. 11, 9 p.m.- 2 a.m. $10 at the door. West London based producer ‘Data’ has been turning heads with his mature and different approach to modern day drum and bass production. Quickly rising through the ranks with a slew of signings, his tracks quickly found their way into many top dj’s bags, including Goldie. Data’s focus on ambience, groove, minimalism and experimentation provides a whole new take on current drum and bass.”

Whatever the outcome, the closure of these clubs — even if only temporary — certainly leaves a hole in the Asheville music scene. (And these closures directly follow the shuttering of The Rocket Club and New French Bar.) Both had, especially in recent months, been booking an exciting lineup of of new and experimental music, drawing from local, regional, national and even international pools. Club 828 was among the only venues in Asheville with a setup for DJ/VJ shows, thanks to a spacious dance floor and screen installed over the stage. Asheville’s burgeoning electronic scene will likely be hurt by the loss of this club.

At the same time, both locations have a history of turnover. The Hookah Bar was formerly Hookah Joe’s, which moved to the 64 Carter St. location from the building now occupied by the Thirsty Monk. Previously, 38 N. French Broad St./64 Carter St. housed Nashwa. Prior to that, Club La Cama and Club Mix could be found at the compound, dating back to 2004. That’s a lot of change in six years.

The property, which also houses the long-established Club Hairspray, is owned by local attorney Devere Lentz. Todd Lentz, who helps his father manage the property, tells Xpress, “We have a lease with Loredana Hovard, who owns Hairspray and who runs the whole property.” Hovard’s club has been in that location for 15 years, according to Lentz. He says that Hovard would have made any decisions regarding renewing leases for other clubs on the property. Hovard was not available for comment.

About Alli Marshall
Alli Marshall is the arts section editor at Mountain Xpress. She's lived in Asheville for more than 20 years and loves live music, visual art, fiction and friendly dogs. Alli is the winner of the 2016 Thomas Wolfe Fiction Prize and the author of the novel "How to Talk to Rockstars," published by Logosophia Books. Follow me @alli_marshall

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10 thoughts on “Club 828 and The Hookah Bar face an uncertain future

  1. James P. Fisher

    Wow. Hopefully Stella Blue will handle these upcoming shows and more down the road. “…one man gathers what another man spills”…get out and support live performances of ALL kinds!

  2. Matt Howard

    The Boiler Room has already scheduled several cancelled bands in the coming month.

  3. dave

    Not enough local support. Especially for anything outside of the box. There’s really only a few venues that will do “different” stuff, and they are dropping off one by one. I have been to so many shows that were poorly attended, that really should have had more people. Makes clubs not want to book small to mid-level bands. Bad news for the scene.

  4. Doesn’t surprise me a bit that Club 828 has closed down. The club was ran VERY poorly with no common management sence what so ever! You could have a FULL drink really close to you and a bouncer would throw it away, totally a scam for the club to make more money, BAD BUSINESS!! The club floor lights are dated and really bad sound in the venue, good riddence! Let someone with ACTUAL experience run this great space with better promoter.

  5. dankster

    ::Erix:: — don’t be such a hater & so bitter you need to chill with the negative bad energy you seem to posses. 828 and the hookah bar were good venues – any one who truthfully gets out in this town and party’s would say the same.

  6. Piffy!

    yeah, bro, chill with the negative vibes, bro :-) like, have a bowl of hooka and mello, you know…

  7. Not a hater, I give everyone two chances so just stating the facts and personal experience that the whole ‘Club 828’ operation was a scam and up to no good! The Grove House, Broadways, and BoBo run a clean operation If you want to go out of town, D’n’B Sunday nights at Tutto Mondo and the club formally known as The Forum, both in Charlotte are top notch. No bozo bouncer, bartender, or expecually management is not going to bad experience like shameful ‘Club 828’.

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