Letter: An appreciation of The Bywater

Graphic by Lori Deaton

I’d like to express my appreciation for what The Bywater has provided Asheville during its 10-year run [see the “Small Bites” column, Jan. 8, Xpress]. It fulfilled its vision of a uniquely Ashevillean space, where friends and family could gather in a laid-back environment with seemingly few rules outside of “behave yourself.” Outdoor fire pits, quality music, grills for “bring your own,” access along the river for pulling in or chilling out. Railroad tracks, for Christ’s sake! (I always wondered who would be liable if someone tripped and knocked out their teeth.)

Having had my own 10-year run in “the business,” I can attest that running a bar is an unforgiving game requiring a young man’s energy and an old man’s maturity, a rare combination. Lessons are learned quickly (or not) that often take a lifetime to process. My hat’s off to James and his crew, and for his ability to move on to this new venture on his own terms.

Many blessings for rest, peace and success.

— Rob Campbell

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