Building owners respond to Hi-Fi Cafe concerns

Charlie and Troy Ball provided the following response to reader concerns about Hi-Fi Cafe and their plans for the building they own at 45 S. French Broad Ave.:

There have been a lot of questions regarding our plans for the building at 45 S. French Broad. While we are founders and co-owners of Asheville Distilling, we have no plans to move that operation downtown and love our current location next to Highland Brewing.

We purchased the building on S. French Broad with the goal of breathing new life into the building by making substantial improvements toward creating a work-live-play environment with retail, restaurant and residential uses. Due to complicated title problems, we spent more than a year working through issues so that we could purchase the building.

Initially, we planned to extend leases to all existing tenants, but while we were dealing with legal problems, Hopey & Co. (formerly Amazing Savings) approached us with an expansion plan, more than tripling its current store size. The owners’ plans take them from a limited-scope grocer to a full-service grocery that will include a meat market, café and larger selections in all their mercantile areas. Fresh, healthy and affordable food within walking distance of downtown neighborhoods is much needed, and we’re very excited to have Hopey & Co. as our anchor tenant.

We also know some are sad and angry that we did not extend a lease to Hi-Fi, and the decision was not an easy one. It is a popular cafe run by people who care about the community; however, we feel our project and the neighborhood will be better served by having a more comprehensive and affordable grocery store and were concerned that competing cafés would hurt both businesses. We are also huge fans of Thai food and believe that an expanded Hopey & Co. and the addition of Little Bee Thai will positively contribute to the sustainability of our project, the health and well-being of our neighbors and the life of our community.

— Charlie and Troy Ball

About Letters
We want to hear from you! Send your letters and commentary to

Before you comment

The comments section is here to provide a platform for civil dialogue on the issues we face together as a local community. Xpress is committed to offering this platform for all voices, but when the tone of the discussion gets nasty or strays off topic, we believe many people choose not to participate. Xpress editors are determined to moderate comments to ensure a constructive interchange is maintained. All comments judged not to be in keeping with the spirit of civil discourse will be removed and repeat violators will be banned. See here for our terms of service. Thank you for being part of this effort to promote respectful discussion.

2 thoughts on “Building owners respond to Hi-Fi Cafe concerns

  1. LaurenGibbs

    It seems to me that the building purchased did not need a “new life” or breath of fresh air. The Asheville community seems to like the building the way it is and improvements are always welcomed. The grocery store owner is monopolistic with the need of a caf

  2. kbs

    sounds like a Walmart move to me and they put a good business out of business – very sad

Leave a Reply

To leave a reply you may Login with your Mountain Xpress account, connect socially or enter your name and e-mail. Your e-mail address will not be published. All fields are required.