Firestorm Cafe in downtown Asheville is closing March 1, plans to reopen in new location


Here’s the word from Firestorm:

Perhaps you’ve heard rumors that Firestorm Cafe & Books is closing. It’s true! And also not. We will be closing our doors at 48 Commerce Street after March 1st – and then reopening them in a new location!

Commerce Street has served us well, from guerrilla puppet shows to #Occupy assemblies, from organizing against the Business Improvement District to being named one of the country’s ten “coolest indie coffee shops.” Probably the best thing has been watching our community grow and diversify – seeing Firestorm become a space of encounter where people make the kinds of new connections needed to forge strong grassroots movements.

Yet even through all the good stuff, it’s often been a struggle just to stay afloat. After five and a half years, we recognize certain limitations attached to our project in its current location that compel us to seek a fresh start on new ground.

After March 1st, we will cease operations in our current location in order to focus the whole of our collective energy on securing a new space, and creating a new Firestorm to occupy it. Over a year of organizational visioning and business planning has laid the foundation for this exciting next phase, resulting in the adoption of new mission, vision and anti-oppression statements for our project. In capturing our collective’s shared values and hopes for the future, these statements act as an anchor for our project, wherever it may roam.

Much more can be said about this decision and what inspired it, but we want to say it in person! Please join us for a community conversation about the future of Firestorm on Wednesday, February 12th at 7pm. We’ll discuss our plans, suggest some ways that folks can lend us a hand, solicit feedback on our draft anti-oppression statement and, most importantly, create space to hear your ideas, concerns and desires for a new Firestorm! And of course, there will be FREE FOOD! 🙂

Your friends,
Julie Schneyer, Lauren Lockamy, Libertie Valance,
Mira Greene, Travis Schuett
Firestorm Cafe & Books

PS – You can read our draft anti-oppression and sober space statements

Just last year, Zagat named Firestorm a must-try coffee shop. Here’s what they said about Firestorm:

Taking on the concept of being worker owned, this activist-heavy coffee shop in Ashville has successfully been caffeinating the small town since 2008. They serve organic, fair trade coffee, Eco-Prima tea and fun espresso drinks like a coconut-cream breve made with coconut milk and a maple latte with pure maple syrup. Plus, they offer plenty of fresh-baked goods, bagels with the works, soups, salads and wraps, many of which are vegan. Naturally, like any good independent shop, they also host film screenings, fund-raisers, book readings, workshops and other events.


Das Drew January 27, 2014 - 6:19 pm

Another perspective – this sucks b/c FS was a notable destination for the homeless to congregate in downtown prior to the night shelters opening, as well as a routine meeting place for various community activists concerned for the at-risk.

yep January 27, 2014 - 2:28 pm

West Asheville is saturated. C’mon up to Woodfin! It’s cheap and cool.

Kim Roney January 27, 2014 - 12:30 pm

Firestorm: bring your bookstore and collective awesomeness to West Asheville if you can!

chris January 27, 2014 - 1:05 pm

I second that!

David January 27, 2014 - 4:07 pm

It will never work, they have no tacos.

Yeppers January 28, 2014 - 7:37 am


Asif January 28, 2014 - 8:49 am

I would pay real money (not Bitcoins) to see a fight to the death between FS and Battle Cat. FS would make BC its play thing for a while until BC somehow rose from its sleeping mat, dusted off its crusty beard and made a valiant comeback. Then Hasbro would make a surprising entrance from the corner of the ring and the whole point would be moot.

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