First off, a huge thanks to all that made Eaties Cereal Bar awesome! Sadly we are closed for good. I truly wished to create a space for community to come together, and I think that wish came true. But wishes don’t pay the bills. Some of you may believe my desire to move was why I closed Eaties. The truth is that Eaties just wasn’t making it. The true reasons vary: It’s hard to compete with fast-food prices; it’s hard to have a somewhat weird location; and it’s hard to have a restaurant based solely on cereal alone. [But] the biggest reason of them all holds true: We simply ran out of money. The few that loved us were unfortunately too few and too infrequent.
Eaties was a personal last stand in my mind before Asheville turned completely into Aspen, Colo.—a yuppie tourist town. It is my observation that the creative folks are aware of this fact and are giving up on Asheville. Maybe they have found safe haven in West Asheville or Black Mountain, but those I know who live in these places rarely participate in the goings-on of Asheville, let alone visit downtown.
Asheville has been priding itself on how weird it is, but seems to do everything in its power to destroy that creative spirit. The only weird thing left is perhaps the few poetic souls who display creativity on the streets. The buskers, street performers and even the homeless are the last stand. We are left begging the rich tourists for a buck.
My hope is that the creative folks will fight back a little harder: Vote for City Council, run for City Council, protest when their city changes in ways they dislike. Practice random acts of art. Create real community. Create real industry so we don’t all have to work service jobs! Take a stand! Join Arts2People, cooperatively buy commercial real estate, support local businesses, realize there is more to community than the drum circle (which is very kick-ass). Direct tourists to the River Arts District. Visit the River Arts District. Make time to help a local nonprofit. You are part of what makes Asheville—why people want to live here, visit here and be here. Reclaim that! Asheville is your city!
This may seem odd coming from someone considering moving away. But I haven’t given up completely on this beautiful mountain city. When asked what it is I enjoy about Asheville the most, I often say the people. That answer still holds true. All the amazing people that helped make Eaties what it was. Again, I sincerely give thanks.
— Becky Johnson