MG Road prepares for temporary close

A NEW LOOK: "We've become more of a creative space since we first opened four years ago," says Michael Files, right, brand director of MG Road and Chai Pani. He adds that owners Meherwan and Molly Irani have let him and Erin Hawley, bar and events manager at MG Road, left, "indulge our wildest and weirdest dreams with the new décor." Photos courtesy of MG Road

MG Road Bar and Lounge will temporarily close its doors from Sunday, July 31, to Friday, Aug. 5. The moratorium comes as part of an overall redesign. “We want the new look be a surprise,” says Michael Files, brand director. “We want people to walk in and be floored at how much we’ve transformed the space.”

Files explains that when it first opened in 2012, MG Road was “very much an extension of Chai Pani,” albeit with an emphasis on the cocktail-oriented atmosphere. Over time, however, the venue has hosted a series of events, evolving into “a culinary concert hall and creative epicenter,” says Files. Such happenings have included “Girls on Deck,” “MG Roadhouse,” and “Sausage Party.”

“A lot of these pop-ups came through and left remnants of various décor,” Files explains. These remains were incorporated into the bar’s aesthetic, creating a fragmented theme. “The bar scene has matured in a lot of ways,” he notes. “And we feel like it’s time to refresh the space and solidify our identity.”

Along with its décor, the drink menu at MG Road will see some new additions as well. This too, however, remains part of the surprise for Friday’s reopening. “You’ll still be able to get your Manhattans and Negronis,” says Files, “but suffice to say there’s going to be some very entertaining and fun, new options.”

Files points out that the changes to MG Road will not preclude future pop-ups, unique culinary concepts and late-night gatherings from the venue’s mix. He notes that he and Erin Hawley (bar and events manager at MG Road), already have a few out-of-town chefs lined up.

“Our goal is to make MG Road feel accessible and more fun than ever before,” he says. “We want to really change things up and fill a hole that we’ve found in Asheville, between all the speakeasy-style cocktail bars and dive-y spots.”


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About Thomas Calder
Thomas Calder received his MFA in Fiction from the University of Houston's Creative Writing Program. His writing has appeared in Gulf Coast, the Miracle Monocle, Juked and elsewhere. His debut novel, The Wind Under the Door, is now available.

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