The other side of the interstate

I read so quickly that I practically devoured the article “Who’s Thirsty: West Asheville Poised for a Pub Explosion” [Xpress, July 5]. I was on the edge of my seat, hoping to hear news of a pub—or even better, a coffee shop—coming to my West Asheville neighborhood. But I got my hopes up for nothing.

There are two West Ashevilles. There is West-West Asheville, with the bakery, shops, co-op and soon-to-be multiple pubs. The one that gets all the attention.

Then there is East-West Asheville, just across the I-240 interchange as you head toward downtown. This is the busy and bustling community of neighborhoods off Michigan, Waynesville, Beverly, Longview and Hanover.  There are families with young children, long-time residents, schools and churches. Tried-and-true establishments like B&B Pharmacy and Ace Appliance Co. It’s also home to Second Gear, Harvest Records, Blue Barnhouse and biodiesel.

We only lack one thing: a coffee shop. A community gathering place. A lounge to linger and share neighborhood news. Why does the other side of West Asheville get all the attention? Where is our entrepreneur to bring vision and a gathering place for our neighborhood? [Apologies] to The Rocket, but a nightclub is not the community center I had in mind.

Since moving to East-West Asheville five years ago, I’ve wanted to run a personal ad for a coffee shop entrepreneur. It reads something like this: ISO talk, dark and strong. Likes to linger over the paper on cool mornings or go on long walks. Enjoys getting together with good friends and neighbors. Cheap date, good companion. Long-term relationship desired.

Are you out there? Doesn’t someone want to invest in an area of West Asheville that actually needs a new establishment?

— Shelley Booth

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3 thoughts on “The other side of the interstate

  1. The Rocket Club

    No apologies necessary Shelly. We Know that not everyone likes to see music and have a drink at night.

    We too would love to see a coffee shop in the neighborhood. Last summer there was a space on our part of Haywood Road that the landlords wanted a coffee shop in. They were seeking out people who would step up and put one in. There is still no good coffee near by.

    Diveristy of businesses in the area is the key to the growth of East-West Ashevill as you called it. The only thing I can say to you is, “Do it.” If you see a need that you want filled, jump in and fill it. What this town needs is more people who are willing to act instead of talk. When the Harvest Records Boys were talking about opening a record store, the figured out how to do it, and now after almost 3 years of success, they are still happy. All of the businesses you mentioned were started by people acted on a desire to run their own place, be their own boss–Taking the huge risk, and putting in the tremendous amount of work to start up a business. We are so happy to be part of this neighborhood. We do what we can to support the businesses that we can walk to, and love that the business owners all talk and are working together to make this part of Haywood more dynamic, and fun.

    Right now I really want a nice cup of coffee. I guess I’ll have to make it myself, but I’ll make one for you too if you stop by.

  2. Orbit DVD

    I agree with the Rocket Club and disagree with Jason.

    Unfortunately, real estate is running out on Haywood Road. Clingman might be an option, but would people go that far down the road?

    To be honest, I had no idea that 240 was such a divider. I’m looking forward to walking to The Rocket Club to see some shows and I don’t consider it that far (I live near Burgermeister).


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