Last call at Tressa’s as downtown Asheville nightclub closes after 22 years

Jason Sandford

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

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It’s last call at Tressa’s Downtown Jazz and Blues tonight as the Broadway Street nightclub closes its doors after a 22-year run in downtown.

“To Everything there is a season, and a time and a purpose under the Heaven,” nightclub owner Tressa Thornton wrote in a Facebook post, quoting a Bible passage

“After 22 years of good times and great music,Tressa’s is closing. Please join us this weekend and also this Tuesday, April 30th for LAST CALL AT TRESSA’S!”

Thornton opened the nightclub with Terri Abernathy in the summer of 1997, when downtown was still finding its footing and entertainment offerings were still fairly few and far between. Thornton, who moved to Asheville from New Orleans, instilled a Big Easy vibe at the nightclub through its musical offerings. Over the years, she built a vast family of friends and supporters.

Local musicians have been posting comments and sharing their memories. Here are a few:

Chuck Lichtenberger, formerly of stephanies id and now pursuing his own solo music:

Tressalynn Thornton opened the doors to her club at the beginning of July in 1997. I can’t remember if I played there the 1st weekend it was open or during Bele Chere 3 weeks later, but I’ve been playing there ever since. I’m gonna show up to one of their last 4 shows and hug Tressa and cry and try and figure out if Ruby Mayfield or I hold the record for most shows at the club and then go and be depressed while at the same time happy for Tressa. Au revoir, Tressas Downtown Jazz and Blues!

Jim Arrendell, all-around musician:

Fond memories will live on. Tressa’s was like a second home to me. It was my introduction to the Asheville music scene as a drummer and a place where I cut my teeth as a singer. I met so many friends here. That you Tressa!!

Ryan RnB Barber, soul singer:

Huge shoutout to Tressalynn Thornton for not only having me to host RnB Jam Night last year & playing funky dance parties there, but for everything you’ve done for the Asheville music community. Tressa’s will be missed, and you are much appreciated and loved. Best wishes on the future chapters of your life journey.

All the best to Tressa. She and Tressa’s nightclub will be missed.

Jason Sandford

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

  • 1

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