Tupelo Honey Café is partnering with the Shiloh neighborhood to build an amphitheater and outdoor kitchen for the South Asheville community. Both will be located near the existing community garden and covered pavilion at the corner of Hampton Street and Century Boulevard.
According to Marketing Manager Lynn Caldwell, it’s an especially good time for locals to visit the restaurant. “In the busy tourist season, it’s hard to get into downtown restaurants like Tupelo Honey without a long wait,” she say, indicating that February is a great month for locals to both avoid long lines and support their community.
“It all started when the YMCA introduced us to the community association at Shiloh and we went to a community dinner,” says Caldwell. “We were amazed at how they’ve been able to hold their community together, despite its being cut in half by a major roadway.”
With storytelling sessions already happening in the garden, the amphitheater seemed the next logical step. The additional outdoor kitchen will open up ample possibilities for community dinners and events.
Link’d Media created a short film about the Shiloh community garden and amphitheater which includes interviews with Pastor Spencer Hardaway of the Rock Hill Missionary Baptist Church, Alma Atkins and Freida Nash of the Shiloh Community Association, Steve Frabitore, owner of Tupelo Honey and Shiloh resident Sarah Eubanks.
According to the film, Shiloh is a historically African-American community that was established in the 1880s. The film pays homage to the hardworking people that made the community strong and sets a precedent for preserving the oral history of the community through storytelling. “Having the amphitheater will open the door for plays, cultural events, family gatherings, storytelling and just socializing,” says Atkins.
“One of our goals is to get American families back around the dinner table,” Frabitore says. He envisions demonstrations, education and family time happening at the amphitheater.
Plans for the expanded Shiloh community garden also include a possible future sidewalk, rain garden, storage shed, benches, nature walk and sculpture garden.
Atkins sums it up well when she says, “There’s nothing better than good food, good fun and good fellowship.”
Stay in touch with the latest happenings on the Shiloh Community Association Facebook page.