BLOCK PARTY FOR THE PEOPLE: Short Street Cakes owner Jodi Rhoden is partnering with East-West Asheville businesses to host a block party aimed at raising money for Hall Fletcher Elementary’s chess program. Photo by Alicia Funderburk

Short Street Cakes will celebrate its fifth year in business on Tuesday, March 4, by partnering with its Haywood Road neighbor, Urban Orchard Cider Co., and turning the bakery's annual birthday event into a Mardi Gras Block Party. According to Short Street owner Jodi Rhoden, there’s more to the plan than just partying down: The event will feature a raffle to raise money for Hall Fletcher Elementary School's innovative Pawnstorm chess team and after-school chess program.

Rhoden’s son attends Hall Fletcher and is a member of Pawnstorm. She says the program offers opportunities for self-esteem and intellectual development that are of vital importance to the school, which has the highest proportion of minority, low-income and special-needs students of any in Asheville and serves as a kind of community center for many families.

“I feel like this neighborhood has been getting a lot of attention lately, but I don't feel like a lot of people know that, literally one block off of Haywood Road, in the heart of East-West Asheville, is a school that is the center of a lot of amazing community transformation. I think it's good to bring attention to that and provide a way to give back.”

The raffle will feature items donated by neighboring businesses, such as Gas-Up, Harvest Records, Bari Salon, Wood and Spoon and more. Urban Orchard will serve a special cider brew for the occasion and host live music and food trucks. Other highlights will include free birthday cake, Mardi Gras beads and signature cocktails by Miss Glo; DJ music by Abu Disarray; and the launch of Short Street Cakes' expanded 2014 cake and pie menu.

The raffle begins at 7 p.m. at the cake shop. Raffle tickets are $1 each or six for $5 and are available anytime at Short Cakes as well as at the door on Tuesday, March 4. Proceeds will support after-school chess coaching, travel to chess tournaments and buying team shirts for Pawnstorm.

The Mardi Gras Block Party runs 5-8 p.m., Tuesday, March 4, in and around Short Street Cakes, 225 Haywood Road. The shop is taking orders for Mardi Gras king cakes through March 4. For details or to order a cake, visit

The Fresh Market opens second Asheville store

Another supermarket is coming to town: The Fresh Market is opening a new location at 1378 Hendersonville Road in Parkway Centre. A grand opening will be held at 8 a.m., Wednesday, March 5, complete with chef demonstrations, food samples and prize drawings. The first 1,000 customers will receive a free sample-sized package of the company's gourmet coffee and a reusable shopping bag.

The new store has plans to make regular food donations to the Asheville Buncombe Community Christian Ministry and Caring for Children, according to a press release, and it will offer many products from local growers and producers. The 25,000-square-foot store will be the company’s 16th location in North Carolina.

Cookbook talk and tasting event

Southern-food media resource Farmer & Chef South will host a book talk and tasting 5-7 p.m., Sunday, March 9, at Posana Café. The event features Kathleen Purvis, food writer for The Charlotte Observer and author of the cookbook Bourbon. Posana Chef Peter Pollay and Chef Mike Moore of Seven Sows Bourbon and Larder and the Blind Pig Supper Club will prepare sample tastings from the book, which focuses on the history of bourbon and how it can be used in cooking. Casey McKissick of Foothills Pasture-Raised Meats will be the featured farmer. The event will also offer a free cocktails demo and tasting from Spirit Savvy.

Posana Café is at 1 Biltmore Ave. 5-7 p.m., Sunday, March 9. Tickets:

2014 Asheville Wing War

Local eateries will battle it out for the title of “Asheville's Best Buffalo Wings” in the third annual Asheville Wing War on Sunday, March 9, at Asheville Music Hall. Celebrity judges will pick their favorites in two categories: specialty and traditional Buffalo-style. Guests will also get to vote for a People's Choice winner. Sierra Nevada and Pisgah Brewing will provide unlimited beer samples, and the Blood Gypsies will entertain with the blues, soul and jazz sound. Tickets are $15 in advance, $20 at the door, $10 for ages 18 and younger. Seating is limited. Nominate a restaurant for the competition at

4 p.m. Sunday, March 9, Asheville Music Hall, 55 College St. Tickets:

Music Tuesdays at All Souls

All Souls Pizza now offers live music and half-price bottles of wine 7-9 p.m. every Tuesday.  Cary Fridley and Jed Willis will perform on March 4.

The Corner Kitchen marks first decade

Biltmore Village eatery The Corner Kitchen will celebrate its 10th year in business with an open house 5-8 p.m., Sunday, March 16. Owners Joe Scully and Kevin Westmoreland will be on hand to greet guests and will offer an assortment of free hors d’oeuvres.

About Gina Smith
Gina Smith is the Mountain Xpress Food section editor and writer. She can be reached at

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