Last Call: Smokey’s Tavern, one of downtown Asheville’s oldest bars, is closing


Smokey’s Tavern, a downtown Asheville drinking institution, is closing. The last day is April 15. The bar will be operating as usual until that day, and there are special fundraising events April 10 and 11. A core team from Smokey’s is planning to open a new, bigger venue.

Here’s the full post from the Smokey’s Tavern post on Facebook:

As Ashevilles’ Oldest continually operating bar of any kind since the 1950’s believe strongly in our patrons and feel that without them, Smokey’s Tavern would have ceased to exist long ago. Be that NOT the case, and seeing as though we’ve managed to make it this far, believe that so long as we provide a more than adequate and qualified establishment, our success and existence will more than be guaranteed and be continued. This continuance and guarantee can only be secured via the generous donation(s) of said patrons and community supporters. It’s with honor and dignity that we offer to our friends, patrons, and supporters alike, an opportunity to perpetuate the existence of any establishment.

Unfortunately, our days here at Smokey’s Tavern, #AshevillesOldest, are numbered, and as there is an end to everything, to good things as well, come April 15th, 2015, Smokey’s Tavern will make its last and final call.

Until that day comes, we will be doing business as normal. April 10th & 11th we will be holding fundraising events with all proceeds going to the development of what will be our new venue and home. The name “Smokey’s Tavern” will not be retained in moving forward and to turn a new page.

I’m proud to announce that myself Ashley Michaels, Stephen Embry, along with Gene Masters, have entered negotiations to begin a new chapter. Everything is falling into place, but what would help in our progression is to ask our members, patrons, and local community by asking for any help in the for of any donation to assist make this dream, a reality.

Smokey’s Tavern has been in business for 62 years, which 32 of those years, Smokey’s was a gay establishment, where Gene Masters has solely owned for 14 years. Those of you that know Gene, know this is his life. We would like to keep this going for him and all the many patrons we’ve had the privilege of serving. The new establishment will be a club instead of a bar, with more than three times the sq footage as before, along with parking, and patio area for those Asheville Summer days and nights.

A GoFundMe account has been created for the sole purpose of receiving donations on behalf what will once have been Ashevilles’ oldest. We ask that the community to spare any and all for donation so to continue the legacy of Smokey’s. Starting Saturday, April 11th, 2015, we will be opening at noon, so come reminisce with us one last time, have fun one more time and to raise funds to help our current situation and cause.




Walter April 8, 2015 - 3:40 pm

Over the line!

Rob April 7, 2015 - 8:39 am

I think the former Ms. SC wrote this press release .

Avg. Joe April 7, 2015 - 9:08 am


murphy April 6, 2015 - 8:30 pm


That will be primo real estate with the new property next door…

J, any idea who owns the building/property?

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