I was so distressed to open the Mountain Xpress a few weekends ago and discover that Dobra Tea in Black Mountain is closing for good [“Small Bites,” June 27]. “Dobra” loosely translated means “good” in Czech, and my mother, Milena, who hails from Brno, the Czech Republic, and I would sometimes repair there after a short Sunday hike in nearby Montreat. It was one of our most favorite spots in Black Mountain to catch up on each other’s news and indulge in numerous international teas, veggie spring rolls and matcha cheesecake.
My mother was particularly tickled by the fact the interior woodwork of each Dobra Tea location was handcrafted by Czech carpenters in the Czech Republic, then shipped over here and reassembled by the same artisans.
I realize there are still two other Dobra Tea locations where we can meet in the Asheville area — the one on Haywood Road in West Asheville and the one downtown on North Lexington Avenue. That’s not the point, though. The point is that all of the unique, lovely, authentic spaces in this town are rapidly being snatched up and turned into something ubiquitous, bland and elitist. Where are the affordable housing initiatives, the community garden fundraisers, the extended and fair-free master transit plan?
And what exactly is going in the bottom level of that building? Yet another brewery? Perhaps these Ashevilleans need to start learning that the Czech word for beer is pivo!
— Kristina Orchard-Hays