More of what’s going around:

Curate, one of Asheville’s most popular restaurants, is temporarily closing for two weeks to finish off a big expansion. Trey Greer of Elm Construction, the company that’s doing the work, gave me a sneak peek at the work last week. It’s all pretty amazing, from the restoration of the front facade to meet the standards for an historic restoration (for tax credits) to the custom woodwork on the interior to all the mechanical engineering of installing a new kitchen in the basement of an old building. Can’t wait to go visit when they reopen at the end of the month. Here’s more from Curate:

This January, we began our expansion into the space at 13 Biltmore Avenue next door, growing our kitchen and allowing us more room to cook the Spanish classics we’ve always wanted to serve, from suckling pig and charcoal-grilled meat & seafood to–finally!–paella.

It’s also allowed us to build on the dining experience, adding just 42 seats total to our 91-seat space, while still preserving Cúrate’s intimate, convivial spirit. Inspired by the vermuterias we frequented in Spain, Cúrate will now have an extended bar offering vermouth, sherry and cider on tap, which you can enjoy with pinxtos and snacks as well as Counter Culture coffee. And our new charcuterie bar, or jamoneria, will display cured Spanish ham and meats sliced and sold to order, to enjoy with a G&T or to take home.

And while our footprint may have grown, our commitment to excellent service and delicious, authentic Spanish cooking will never let up.

Your support over the years is so important to us. While we’ve had multiple offers to open Cúrates elsewhere, you remind us every day that our hearts are in Asheville. And we’re not going anywhere.

-Asheville’s permitting office has limited the hours it accepts walk-in customers. A February 20 memo from acting director of development services to all “customers” – basically any developer looking to do something in Asheville – says the office’s “burgeoning workload has put our plan-review turnaround two to three weeks behind schedule.” It says developers should expect 15 days for a residential permit review, 21 days for a small commercial project, 30-45 days for all standard commercial work and 90 days for large commercial work. The memo goes on to state that “in an effort to allow our building staff more focused time on reviews,” the office is temporarily limiting office hour service for walk-ins to 2-5 p.m. The office is open weekdays from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. (This blurb was corrected to show that the limited hours of service only applies to walk-in customers.)

-Steve Martin and the Steep Canyon Rangers are recording a new record at Echo Mountain Studios in Asheville. Martin recently tweeted a photo of a recording session.

-Local musician Pierce Edens has launched a Kickstarter campaign seeking $7,000 toward the production of a new album.

-There’s a new craft brewery in the works for Lake Lure. It’s called Black Star Line Brewing.

-Six local public charter schools will be hosting elected officials from 5-7 p.m. on March 19, at Highland Brewery, according to a press release. Evergreen Community Charter School, Franklin School of Innovation, Francine Delaney, Fernleaf, Invest Collegiate and Artspace serve more than 2,000 students in Buncombe and Henderson County. A group of teachers, parents, board members and administrators from all of these charter schools created this event for policy makers to get to know the unique way that they serve students in our communities, to build relationships with each other, and to help give charter schools a voice.

-The Olympic Start Elite Gymnastics Academy’s Boy’s team’s record breaking competition season continued recently as it competed at the 2017 North Carolina State Gymnastics Championships in Raleigh, according to a press release. Here’s more:

The team achieved a record number of accomplishments this season, with an astounding 143 individual championship titles across the various North Carolina  state qualifying events. This success is a representation of hard work from the athletes, and the atmosphere created and fostered by the owners and coaches at OSEGA. OSEGA owner and Boy’s Program Director, Miles Avery, maintains discipline in team practices, while still allowing the boys to have fun and grow as a team family. One very special success went to Tait Bergrud; a young man with special needs. Bergrud competes on OSEGA’s Special Olympics team for most of the year. However, Bergrud made a courageous move this year and now also competes on the USA Gymnastics Level 4 team. At the most recent competition in Georgia, Bergrud took home the championship title on the rings. “Tait is one of the most improved kids I know, and has definitely earned and deserves his spot on the team,” Avery said.

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