Ashvegas Hot Sheet: Asheville Mall renovation; Frugal Backpacker coming to Westgate; more

Jason Sandford

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

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which_wich_2014Here’s a quick look at some of what’s going around:

-Which Wich: The popular sandwich shop Which Wich is opening a location in Biltmore Park. The Dallas-based company has nearly 200 locations around the U.S. From Biltmore Park’s page on Facebook:

This spring join us in welcoming a new restaurant to#BiltmorePark – Which Wich® Superior Sandwiches. Which Wich offers more than 50 varieties of customizable “wiches.” This new quick service restaurant will be located next to Sport Clips across the street from the Hilton.

-Frugal Backpacker: Word on the street is that the Frugal Backpacker, located next to (and owned by) Diamondbrand outdoor gear company, is planning to move from its Arden location to Westgate Shopping Center. Not sure about the location, but it could be in the spot being vacated by Silver Armadillo, which is closing.

-Asheville Mall renovation: The FBer Northern Buncombe Happenings has a note about a $25 million renovation planned at the Asheville Mall. There are no details. I’ve called the mall manager to ask for comment. Last November, the mall announced that popular retailer H&M would be opening a 22,000-square-foot store there. There was this detail from a press release:

The last large development at the Asheville Mall was the two story, forty-thousand sq. foot Barnes and Noble in 2009, which required new space to be added to the building, and some other tenants to relocate their shops. However, Asheville Mall general manager stated that the H&M store would not be an expansion and that more project details will be released soon.

If H&M were moving into an existing mall space, that’s not a $25 million project, so we’ll wait to hear from mall management. The other big development that’s happening on Tunnel Road right across from the mall is the construction of Asheville’s first Whole Foods grocery store.

-Mural: The Atlanta-based artist @PaperFrank aka Frank Dunson is working on a great new mural in downtown Asheville. He received permission to paint the large street mural featuring his signature style of vibrant pastels and characters. More soon.

-Unified auditions: Here’s the press release:

A-B Tech Drama Club and The Montford Park Players will host the thirteenth annual Western North Carolina Theatre League Unified Auditions Saturday, February 22, 2014 at Ferguson Auditorium, 340 Victoria Road, Asheville 28801. Modeled after the Southeastern Theatre Conference and National Outdoor Drama Auditions, the annual event allows local actors and technicians to showcase their talents in a professional audition setting for a variety of companies throughout the region. The auditions have drawn up to 23 theatre, media and talent companies.

The purpose of the Unified Auditions is to develop a database of local actors and technical artists for regional, community and professional companies.

The schedule for the Unified Auditions is:

Saturday, February 22, 2014
Youth Auditions, 9:30 am (if you will not have reached your 18th birthday by May 1, 2014)
Actor Auditions, 10:30 am – 12:30 pm
Lunch Break and Mingle time, 12:30 PM – 1:30 PM
Actor Auditions, 1:30 PM – 4:00 PM
Technical Interviews, for designers, directors, stage managers, musicians and technicians, will follow the actor auditions.
Dance Auditions, dancers, choreographers,4:00 pm – 5:00 pm

For registration information and to register and pay your application fee, go to

Jason Sandford

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

  • 1

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  1. Meg January 15, 2014

    Is $25 million enough to just level the entire mall and start over from scratch? Because it’s pretty terrible.

    1. Foothills Dweller January 16, 2014

      You’ve got that right – I can’t remember the last decade that I went there. Probably back in the ’90s.

  2. smytty January 15, 2014

    Interesting that Frugal will be effectively splitting up with Diamond Brand in this move. I would assume that being next door worked well for the both of them.

    With Second Gear and Frugal, West Asheville will be the hot place for cheap(er) gear! Now, if only tourists had any idea how to get in and out of Westgate shopping center..

  3. Ash January 14, 2014

    To get to 22,000 sq ft., they’d probably need the Banana Republic space as well (and probably Claire’s).

  4. Jeremy January 14, 2014

    I was over at the Mall the other week. We went into FYE because they where having a huge blow out. Talked with the clerk about why they were closing. Come to find out, they are getting kicked out along with Abercrombie. The Finish Line across from the FYE is taking over their spot since the Finish Line has been there longer. The H&M is taking over the spots that the Finish Line and Abercrombie are in now.

    1. Jason W. January 14, 2014

      Replacing Abercrombie with H&M is only a step in the right direction.

      1. Ashley January 15, 2014

        Yes, definitely. Maybe it won’t take 2 years to get rid of the Abercrombie cologne smell they’ve been pumping through the mall.


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