Jason Sandford

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

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slide_the_city_asheville_2015More of what’s going around:

-Slide the City coming to Asheville: Slide the City and its 1,000-foot-long inflatable water slide is coming to Asheville later this year. Slide the City will announce dates on its site, but there’s a May 23 date listed for Asheville Slide the City on Facebook here. Details:

100 volunteers are needed for Slide the City, a 1000 feet of soapy vinyl to brighten Coxe Avenue — yes, that is over the length of three football fields! Slide the City is a family friendly slip-and-slide water party event. There will be live music, food, drinks, water, and of course the biggest slip and slide ever to hit asphalt. Make sure to bring your water balloons, buckets, floaties, and water guns (non-realistic of course), to squirt, spray, splash, and get all attending soaked. Some proceeds from this event will benefit the Asheville Parks and Greenways Foundation. Interested? Email [email protected].

-New food truck lot open: The new downtown Asheville food truck lot at the New Mountain Asheville music club on French Broad Avenue is now open. Check it out.

-New outdoor stage at New Mountain: Also today, New Mountain began work on its new outdoor stage. From FB:

This day in New Mountain Asheville history we break ground for our biggest endeavor yet: The New Mountain Asheville Amphitheater. We will be releasing the first phase of our Outdoor Series lineup TOMORROW! Stay tuned, the excitement is just beginning.

-Asheville restaurants for sale: The National Restaurant Properties website has a whole list of Asheville restaurants up for sale. Here’s one example:

Beautiful Historic Building in downtown Asheville.  This is a one of a kind location with adjacent parking and close proximity to all of the major downtown attractions.  The restaurant has been successful for many years, seller is wanting to retire.   You can continue the current concept or convert this location to any concept.  The 4400 square foot space has consistently shown gross revenues  of 1 million plus. New long term lease to be negotiated with landlord.  Purchase Price $239,000.00

-Biltmore Estate updates: A few updates from happenings at the Biltmore Estate:

Downton exhibition: Beginning Feb. 5, the Vanderbilts and the Crawleys meet for the first time when Biltmore House becomes the canvas for an exhibition of more than 40 costumes from the PBS Masterpiece series “Downton Abbey.” Kicking off Biltmore’s year, “Dressing Downton: Changing Fashion for Changing Times,” juxtaposes elements of the fictional TV series and the real lives of the Vanderbilts who lived in Biltmore House. The costumes will be staged throughout the House. The exhibition is included in admission, and closes on May 25. During April and May, as part of the “Dressing Downton” exhibition, guests may reserve space to enjoy an evening Rooftop Champagne Reception. The event includes a behind-the-scenes tour of Biltmore House and the costumes, with rooftop access for hors d’ouvres and Biltmore sparkling wine.

-New hotel opening in November: Construction is currently underway on Biltmore’s newest lodging option, the 209-room Village Hotel on Biltmore Estate. Opening is planned for November 2015, with reservations available starting spring 2015. The hotel is adjacent to Biltmore’s popular Winery in Antler Hill Village, giving guests a convenient home base for exploring the estate’s grounds, shopping, dining and live music on the Village Green. This will be the estate’s second overnight accommodations. The award-winning Inn on Biltmore Estate opened in 2001.

Biltmore Winery celebrates 30 years: When the estate’s original dairy barn was converted into the Winery in 1985 (and the milking parlor transformed into a tasting room), it added a tasty component to the overall guest experience. Thirty years later, the Winery enjoys the distinction of being the most visited winery in the United States, with around 600,000 annual visitors stopping by to sample our many varieties. This year we’re celebrating the operation that is a vital part of the estate’s ongoing agricultural program that includes cattle, sheep and a field-to-table production garden supplying Biltmore’s restaurants.

-Cajun Cook-Off set: From the press release: “The 7th Annual Cajun Cook-off and Art Auction, brought to you by Asheville Mardi Gras will take place  on Sunday, January 25th  from 1-5 p.m. at Asheville’s premiere event space, The Mill Room, located in  downtown Asheville at 66 Asheland Ave.”

-Asheville Wing War set: Here are the details:

Planning has begun for the 4th Annual Asheville Wing War and event producer, Lush Life Productions expects it to be its biggest year yet. Tickets will be available for purchase on Thursday, January 15 at noon and will be $20 per person. The ticket price includes unlimited wings and beer as well local music.
The competition, which is part of an annual series of competitive food events called the Asheville Food Fights, heats up at New Mountain Asheville at 4pm on Sunday, March 1. The wings will be judged by a panel of celebrity judges in a blind taste test in two categories: specialty and traditional buffalo style. Attendees will also have the opportunity to vote for their favorite wing and select the People’s Choice Award.
To date, the following restaurants have accepted their nomination to put their wings to the test and a remaining 5 spots are still up for grabs:
Mojo Taco Lounge
Luella’s Bar-B-Que
Haywood Lounge
The Social
Foggy Mountain Brewpub
Scully’s Bar and Grill
King James Public House
Moe’s Original Bar B Que
The Barleycorn

A portion of the proceeds go to support Manna Food Bank. Tickets for the event are on sale now at and are $20 in advance and $25 at the door.

What: Asheville Wing War 2015
When: March 1, 2015
What time: 4pm
Where: New Mountain Asheville
How Much: $20 in advance; $25 at the door; $12 for children under 18
Nominations are still being accepted and can be sent to [email protected]

-Publix to open in April: So says my buddy Daniel of Northern Buncombe Happenings:

From Daniel (formerly Northern Buncombe Happenings): Publix will be holding an application event at the Doubletree Biltmore at 115 Hendersonville Road in Biltmore Village on January 31st to February 4th from 9 am to 6 pm. They hope to be open in south Asheville by Late April. (no date has been confirmed for the store to open)

-Music festival season: The following musical festivals announced lineups this week:

Bonnaroo Festival 2015 lineup (Manchester, Tenn.)

Skaky Knees Festival 2015 lineup (Atlanta)

Hangout Music Festival 2015 lineup (Gulf Shores, Ala.)

Savannah Stopover Music Festival 2015 in Savannah, Ga., in early March is another fun one, as is Big Ears in Knoxville, which is in late March.

-Food and social justice discussion: From the folks at UNC Asheville:

Erika Allen, who focuses on community-based transformation through the food system, will present a discussion, Food and Social Justice, at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, Jan. 20 in UNC Asheville’s Highsmith University Union, in the Grotto. This event, a Social Justice Coffee Hour presentation by the university’s Key Center for Community Citizenship and Service-Learning, is free and open to the public, and is the first of a series of public events this semester about food systems.

Allen is Chicago and national projects director for Growing Power, a nonprofit organization and land trust focused on community and urban agriculture, where she has provided technical assistance and planning support for thousands of new and limited-resource farmers and local-food pioneers to strengthen farm businesses. Allen is co-chair of the Chicago Food Policy Advisory Council, and was appointed by Governor Pat Quinn in 2008 to the Illinois Local and Organic Food and Farm Task Force. She served on Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s Energy, Environment and Public Space Committee, and is a Post Carbon Institute fellow.

-Hi-Wire’s new beer: Here’s the latest on Hi-Wire’s new beer series called Hop Circus.

The Hop Circus IPA Series will feature a new IPA every few months. Our first release is a single hop, session IPA brewed 100% with simcoe hops. At 4.8% ABV and 40 IBUs, this first release in the Hop Circus IPA Series will perfectly combine drinkability with classic hop character.

We’ll be bottling these guys in 22-oz. bottles, which should be available at most craft beer bottle shops throughout North Carolina, as well as at Hi-Wire’s Downtown Asheville tasting room. A keg or two will also show up at a few select bars around the state, as well as at our Downtown tasting room.

To celebrate the release, we’re doing something different. Hi-Wire’s tasting room is well-known by locals, among other reasons, for its $2.50 Tuesdays, when pints of Hi-Wire beers start at only $2.50. So on Tuesday, February 3rd, beginning at 4pm when the tasting room opens, we’ll not only be having a $2.50 Tuesday, we’ll also be releasing Hop Circus, Volume 1 in bottles and on-draft – and taking $1 off all Hop Circus pints! We’ll have FREE Hi-Wire pint glasses for the first 50 people who purchase a bottle of Hop Circus, Volume 1 – with a five bottle limit per person.

Jason Sandford

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

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