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:

-Metalheads have a new hangout in West Asheville. The Black Cloud, at 723 Haywood Road, is holding soft openings this week. I haven’t seen it yet, but a friend described it to me as a craft beer bar that happens to play metal.

-Word on the street: A new seafood restaurant is planned for the Cambria Hotel under construction at the corner of Page and Battery Park avenues in downtown Asheville, while a new Cuban restaurant is planned for a space next door to the new hotel on Page Avenue.

-Shook’s Tire & Quick Lube is one of those West Asheville businesses you just take for granted; timeless, trusted service. But the owners have announced that health issues have forced them to sell 585 Haywood Road, a hot corridor for development, so they’ve posted a sign thanking customers for their loyal patronage and said goodbye. The buyer was a San Francisco-based real estate investment company that also owns Rankin Lofts. The company paid $450,000 for Shook’s. I don’t know what’s next for the site.

-After a decade of fundraising, the Asheville Art Museum is ready to move ahead with the expansion and renovation of its home in the heart of downtown Asheville. On Feb. 6, the Asheville Technical Review Committee will review the plans. The meeting agenda describes the project as “the expansion and renovation of the current Asheville Art Museum to be housed in a 4-story, 20,775 square foot building and a 3-story, 8,513 square foot building on 0.71 acres known as 2 S. Pack Square. The property owner is the City of Asheville and the project contact is Alan McGuinn.”

-Following up on the annual Warren Haynes Christmas Jam back in December, here are some fun facts via Chris Corl, director of the US Cellular Center: The 2016 Jam was the second-best single day ever from a concessions standpoint, with $186,855 in gross concession revenues, including $14,971 in beer sales. The single-day concessions record remains the second night of the two-day Jam in 2013, with more than $198,000 in sales. The numbers are important because the revenues make up a large part of the Cellular Center’s annual budget.

In terms of ticket sales, the 2016 Jam sold 7,157 tickets, for a gross ticket sales revenue of $438,088, up from $426,540 the year before. Corl says ticket sales increased this year “simply due to the addition of a few hundred reserved seats sold in the balcony at $10 more than the general admission ticket. We’ve heard for some time the request for a guaranteed, reserved seat. This year we made that dream possible for an increase ticket price. All of the reserved seats sold out within the first hour of on sale.”

The event is a fundraiser for the nonprofit Asheville Area Habitat for Humanity. Haynes and his fellow Jam producers haven’t yet announced their total donation following the 2016 event, but the info should be coming in another couple of months. Stay tuned.

-A huge downtown building at 24 N. Lexington Ave. is up for sale for $6.8 million. The building, which also has an entrance at 15 Broadway St. that parallels Lexington, is known as the Star Building.

-Nibbles the groundhog, the resident prognosticating Groundhog Day whistlepig at the WNC Nature Center, died last year, the Asheville Citizen-Times. That means there will be no Groundhog Day ceremony at the Nature Center this year. Above is my 2008 Groundhog Day photo of Nibbles with actress Andie MacDowell.

-This looks great, from a press release:

Experience the magic of Walt Disney’s Fantasia as the Asheville Symphony performs inspiring works from the 1940 film and its 2000 sequel. Highlights include Stravinsky’s Suite from The Firebird and Shostakovich’s Piano Concerto No. 2 featuring masterful solo pianist Inon Barnatan; at 8 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 11, Thomas Wolfe Auditorium in Downtown Asheville. Tickets: $22 – $62 (prices vary depending on seating section; reduced student pricing available). Tickets/Info: (828) 254-7046 or

Jason Sandford

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

  • 1

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