Here’s the former Wells Fargo Bank property along Coxe Avenue that Asheville Brewing purchased recently./ photo by Jason Sandford

Mike Rangel, owner of Asheville Brewing Co., announced recently that he had purchased the 1.24 lot adjacent to his beer brewery and pizza joint on Coxe Avenue. Now he’s working on what to do with it, and he’s asking the community to offer ideas.

The former Wells Fargo bank location at 75 Coxe Ave. is right next door to Asheville Brewing’s 77 Coxe Ave. location, which includes a big outdoor patio on in the city’s South Slope neighborhood, which has been booming with brewery, restaurant and residential development.

Rangel bought the property for $2.5 million, about $1 million less than what it had originally been listed for. Rangel credits the bank for listening to, and ultimately accepting, his offer. “Kudos to Wells Fargo. They listened to a small business owner’s dream, and they got it,” he says.

With parking coming at a premium in the area, part of the old bank lot will remain parking, Rangel says. But he’s interested in how else the lot might be developed.

A pocket park? A cat park? A putt-putt golf course? A roller rink? A venue for Shakespeare on the Slope? Rangel says he’s heard all those ideas, and wants more. He’s encouraging folks to email him ideas at mike@ashevillebrewing.com.

“I’ve always felt that Asheville has of telling you what to do” as an entrepreneur, Rangel says.

Rangel says he knows he would like to keep the lot as green as possible. And whatever he does, it will be in keeping with the family-friendly vibe that Asheville Brewing is already well-known for. Asheville Brewing operates its original brewery location and pizza restaurant, complete with a second-run movie theater, on Merrimon Avenue. (Asheville Brewing also has a take-out shop at 1850 Hendersonville Road.)

“We want a family focus, and for whatever we do here to be accessible,” he says. “We also want to help the city and the neighborhood however we can. We’re in it for the long haul.”

Mike Rangel of Asheville Brewing/ photo by Jason Sandford

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