What does New Belgium mean for old Asheville?

I find it very frustrating that an article about changes in the River Arts District due to New Belgium's arrival doesn't even mention what they will be replacing when they build at their future location [“Big Breweries Bring Big Changes,” May 16 Xpress]. It isn't a vacant lot. It seems that a lot of folks talk about "community" without any visible regard for what has previously existed in this area that doesn't involve beer or art. Not that I don't love beer, and some art.

From what I understand, and I wish I was wrong, building New Belgium's new brewery will entail tearing down the stockyard and the [adjacent] Country Kitchen, which is currently my favorite place to eat in Asheville. After reading the article I still don't know where, if anywhere, the stockyard is moving or how the land got sold with them still there. I'll sure miss looking in on the massive rodeo bulls when I walk from east-West Asheville down towards the railroad tracks. Penland's Auction has already moved to Swannanoa, after 20-some years as a lively auction house. What about the people that work/worked at these spots? Seems to me they are being displaced. I understand they might not be a big tourist draw.

Also, I understand I'm a lowbrow hobo bum and a lot of folks might not share my appreciation of the area in its current form, but it seems that a place that talks big of being socially aware and embracing its history, might have a little respect for the businesses and the people that are heading for the last roundup. I'm not hating on New Belgium or saying nothing should change down there — it just makes me sad to see things I've loved disappear, especially without mention.

If you like cheap, greasy, Southern food, stop on by the Country Kitchen while you still can, and tip your waitress well.

— Brody Hunt

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5 thoughts on “What does New Belgium mean for old Asheville?

  1. Unaffiliated

    other than what would have been a fantastic site for
    a new civic arena, a brewery is a great alternative,
    especially when they are spending $175 MILLION !!!

    the Stockyard Cafe food is about as unhealthy as it
    gets in Asheville …

  2. bill smith

    Err, correct me if I’m wrong, but didnt the stock yards close in like 04?

    And isnt the Country Kitchen located on Smoky Park Highway?

  3. D. Dial

    No bull, there have been no bulls @ the WNC Stockyard since the some sort of mismanagement shut it down. If someone is seeing “massive rodeo bulls” they are most liking bull sh–ting us.

  4. Chip Kaufmann

    The Country Kitchen moved from its Smoky Park Highway location several months ago. They took over the old Stockyard Cafe location because it was one they could afford and they were hoping to take over the clientele displaced by the closing of the old Silver Dollar which to a large degree they have.

    As for unhealthy it depends. The food there is prepared fresh (not from cans, you can watch them prepare it) in the tiny kitchen. Granted it’s old school comfort food but it’s tasty and affordable. The latter cannot be said of many of the new RAD eateries.

  5. bill smith

    Have to agree with Dial. This letter writer is clearly making some things up.

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