Jason Sandford

Jason Sandford is a reporter, writer, blogger and photographer interested in all things Asheville.

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Here’s more of what’s going around, including good news about The Hop ice cream shop:

The beloved Asheville ice cream shop The Hop, with their location on Merrimon Avenue and two Haywood Road locations in West Asheville (The Hop West shop and The Hop Ice Creamery), is expanding to open a shop in Black Mountain. Ashley and Greg Garrison took over the well-established The Hop Ice Cream in 2008 and have infused it with their own energy and creativity over the past 10 years. Starting with five employees, The Hop family has grown to about 45, including the Garrisons’ two children, Lily and Finn.)

Now the timing is right for The Hop to take over a candy shop in downtown Black Mountain, Greg Garrison tells me. The candy shop, called Sweet! On Cherry Street, has been a wholesale customer of The Hop for the past four years, and the Garrisons have gotten to know the owners there, Sydney and Walt McDougald. When the McDougalds decided it was time to retire, they talked with the Garrisons, who really had no plans for expansion. But the shop is in a great location (right next door to the popular My Father’s Pizza) and everything felt right, Garrison says. The Hop Black Mountain plans to be open from noon to 9 p.m. every day but Tuesday. Gretchen Ledford, who has worked as The Hop general manager for several years and helped open The Hop West, will open the Black Mountain outpost. “The opportunity is one we couldn’t pass up,” Garrison says. “Black Mountain is an amazing town and we’re excited to bring our energy, and our homemade ice cream, to the community.” Look for a Dec. 7 opening party, the same day as Black Mountain’s Holly Jolly downtown celebration.

Date. Play. Love. is a new Asheville business that aims to help singles meet. The “personal introduction face-to-face dating organization” is for people who don’t have time to date online or who have had bad experiences with online dating. The site is open to people 30 and older, and describes itself as an “inclusive, non-judgmental socializing service.”

-More tacos, anyone? Tacobilly is expanding after owner Hunter Berry, who opened the delicious taco shop three years ago, bought the Haywood Road building he’s located in earlier this year.

-Anthroware, and Asheville-based software company, is hosting a discussion exploring Blockchain, an emerging technology that was developed as a decentralized database to record cryptocurrency transactions. There’s no harm in doing a bit of your own research into sites like before you head off to this discussion. At least this way, if they ask you any questions relating to cryptocurrency (which is very likely), you can at least attempt to answer some basic questions.

The discussion will be held from 6-7:30 p.m. on Dec. 12 at 45 S. French Broad Ave, Suite 145. Cost is $5 now or $10 after Thanksgiving. Sign up here. For more information, contact [email protected]

-The River Arts District in Asheville is open. That’s the message that artists and shop owners in the River Arts District want folks to now as the holiday shopping season kicks off. The road and infrastructure work that’s been happening in the district this year is finished for the season, and won’t be fully complete until next spring. There’s a new traffic pattern in place along Riverside Drive and Lyman Street, and it takes some getting used to. There’s also poor road signage, and the area is dark at night.

-Speaking of the holiday shopping season, the typical sales and discounts that have come with the day after Thanksgiving, known as Black Friday, are kicking off on Monday. The mad Black Friday rush of people waking before dawn to hit up brick-and-mortar stores has been in decline in recent years with the growing popularity of online shopping, and with retailers extending their deals.

-Also speaking of holiday shopping: buy local. Asheville has an amazing array of independent shops, artists, craftspeople and more. Support them with your spending dollars.

-Antidote, a new bar on Coxe Avenue in downtown #Asheville, is set to open Nov. 25. The bar is adjacent to The Chemist gin distillery, all in a beautifully renovated space that’s next door to the Funkatorium, Wicked Weed’s space that’s under major renovation

Jason Sandford

Jason Sandford is a reporter, writer, blogger and photographer interested in all things Asheville.

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1 Comment

  1. Avl November 22, 2018

    There is not “poor signage” at the new intersection. It just takes getting used to.


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