Jason Sandford

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

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Ashvegas: The City You Love. The News You Want.Some of what’s going around:

-Lex 18 to offer Downton Abbey style afternoon tea: Downtown Asheville restaurant Lex 18, which earlier this year kicked off a stylish Downton Abbey style dinner in honor of the insanely popular PBS soap opera, is planning to launch an “afternoon tea” event next month.

The Lex 18 dinners offer “an immersive dinner theater experience recreating a banquet close to its forbearers era” at a 16-foot-long banquet table, according to the Lexington Avenue restaurant’s website. The table is “lavishly dressed with period china and crystal.  ‘Footmen’ in tails and a head butler will serve guests a five-course banquet with wines and champagne.  This extravagant banquet is made all the more fabulous by an interactive cast of actors personifying Downton Abbey’s Crawley family members and their lively and gossipy servants.” These dinners have been a sell-out hit for Lex 18.

The afternoon tea (not high tea) will feature teas, scones, sandwiches and champagne. Look for it in mid March.

-More Asheville Outlets stores, job fair: The Fragrance Outlet and Uniform Destination are planning to open in the new Asheville Outlets mall this spring. Also, there’s an Asheville Outlets job fair from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. on March 26 at the WNC Agricultural Center. More than 800 full-time and part-time jobs will be up for grabs.

-Atomic Furnishing moving to Patton Ave: Atomic Furnishing and TC’s Rentals are moving into 1060 Patton Ave., the shopping center near the intersection of Patton and Louisana Ave.

-Parkway Bistro set to open: Parkway Bistro, a new restaurant going into the former Eddie Spaghetti restaurant space on Hendersonville Road, is set to open soon.

-Pizza by the slice: Amazing Pizza Co. plans to sell pizza by the slice every Thursday in the lot of the Odditorium along Haywood Road in West Asheville. In August 2014, Mountain Xpress reported that Darren Elena Stephens were launching the new business first in Charlotte. From the story:

Darren Stephens of Mills River believes he may have found a new market niche with mobile pizza kitchens.

Nearly two years of research and development and about $60,000 pumped into the Asheville-area economy have yielded a compact, wood-fired oven that cranks out a tasty 20-inch pizza in just 90 seconds, says Stephens. At long last, he says he’s ready to take Amazing Pizza Co. on the road.

-Lightning Bolt Ink: A new company called Lightning Bolt Ink is set to take over the 100 N. Lexington Avenue spot occupied by screenprinters On a Roll.

-Publix in Hendersonville? The Hendersonville Lightning reports:

It looks like Publix is coming to Hendersonville.

On Thursday night, the Hendersonville City Council took action on a minor property ownership question that would help clear the way for a new store on the west side of Greenville Highway at White Street. The council’s action was the first public confirmation that the Florida-based retailer was seriously pursuing a move into the second largest county in the North Carolina mountains, coming two years after the supermarket chain announced that it was building a new store in Asheville.

Attorneys for a Boca Raton, Fla.-based company asked the Hendersonville City Council to sell it a small piece of floodplain land along Mud Creek behind El Paso restaurant for the project. City Attorney Sam Fritschner described the piece of land, mostly floodplain and of little value by itself, as “integral” to the proposed Publix shopping center.

-SECU Plaza naming: The Asheville Tribune’s Roger McCredie has an update (published Feb. 5) on the city of Asheville’s controversial move to sell the naming rights of part of a downtown plaza:

The State Employees’ Credit Union Foundation is still poised to donate $1.5 million to the Asheville Art Museum – in exchange for having its name on the property – provided everything is on the up-and-up.

In late October City Council approved the art museum’s plan to allow SECU, in exchange for the seven-figure grant, to put its name on the brickwork in front of the entrance to Pack Place, which the art museum — aided by the city – had taken over in August.

But SECU’s CEO James C. Blaine told the Tribune in an exclusive interview last week that the credit union is “very much aware” of the controversy surrounding the naming rights deal, which also involves the city of Asheville, and is less than comfortable with the way it has been handled.

“As we’ve already said, our feeling is that supporting the arts in Western North Carolina is a worthy undertaking for the SECU foundation,” Blaine told the Tribune. “The art museum approached them and they had several meetings with them over the course of last year, and they were impressed by their presentation.

“But we’re not going to be the first to write a check,” Blaine said. “This is a performance-based contract; the art museum has to accomplish its own fundraising goals first.

-Graffiti arrests: The Asheville Police Department announced Monday that is had arrested four men about 2:15 a.m. Saturday morning and charged them in connection with an ongoing crackdown on graffiti.

The Asheville Police Department demonstrated continued enforcement efforts this past weekend to address graffiti in the area of Lyman St., Roberts St. and Clingman Ave. During the special operation, numerous officers observed four subjects enter the fenced area around Dave Steel property at 2:15 AM on Saturday morning.

The subjects began painting a large graffiti mural on the walls inside the fence. APD officers surrounded the property and apprehended the subjects after several brief foot chases. Five backpacks containing 32 paint cans, paint markers, and paint caps were seized during the arrests.


Jeremy Steven Lewis, 26 – Injury to Real Property, 1st Degree Trespass, Resist Delay Obstruct/Louisville, KY

Edwards Dragan Harper, 33 – Injury to Real Property, 1st Degree Trespass, Resist Delay Obstruct, Possession of Marijuana, Possession of Drug Paraphernalia/Asheville, NC

Colby Jacob Rabon, 27 – Injury to Real Property, 1st Degree Trespass, Resist Delay Obstruct/Hendersonville, NC

Ian Buss Muldoon, 25 – Injury to Real Property, 1st Degree Trespass, Resist Delay Obstruct/Louisville, KY

-City Council candidate: Grant Millan tells the Asheville Citizen-Times that he’s planning to run for City Council.

-New tanning salon opening: Here’s the announcement:

Biltmore Tanning Company announces the launch of a new tanning salon in Asheville, NC. Located at 24 Sardis Road, near Brevard Road and I-26, Biltmore Tanning Company opens its doors to the public Wednesday, February 11, 2015. Biltmore Tanning Company is locally owned and operated by Jenna & Joey McNeely, and offers a variety of tanning services and tanning products. For more information on Biltmore Tanning Company, visit online at or call 828-243-6716.

-Valentine’s Day at The Altamont Theatre: Here’s the info:

The Altamont Theatre, voted Best of WNC’s “Best Listening Room” in 2012 and 2013, is proud to present An Evening with Sweet Dreamers, Asheville’s only tribute to Patsy Cline, this Saturday night, Valentine’s Day.

The band is made up of local musicians Chris Michaels, Scott Murray, David Cohen, Kate McNally and CaroMia Tiller. An homage to the legendary and unparalleled Patsy Cline, Sweet Dreamers will take you back to one of the sweetest times in country music. Asheville’s Sweet Dreamers features the soulful voices of Caromia Tiller and Kate McNally singing Patsy’s ageless tunes. Join us for a night of magic and celebration of the one and only Patsy Cline.

Jason Sandford

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

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  1. Chall February 16, 2015

    Jason, why don’t you bring Tiger on as your Grocery Store Commentator and Analyst? He seems to be the most informed and have the most insightful comments anytime it comes up. Maybe a quarterly “Supermarket Aisle Update” or the like?

    1. Jason Sandford February 16, 2015

      Great idea, Chall. I will inquire.

  2. HOehm February 11, 2015

    Frank’s Deli was one of my family’s favorite delis (and the best deli in Asheville by far). We have been so excited about Parkway Bistro since we have heard of it’s opening.

  3. sylva143 February 11, 2015

    Please locate Publix in Waynesville and Sylva. The Waynesville Ingles is very overcrowded on weekends, and Sylva Ingles is dismal. Sylva is a growing college town in desperate need of better groceries.

    1. Tiger February 11, 2015

      Smoky Mountain News reported last Wednesday, 11 February 2015, Ingle’s Markets #23, Barber Boulevard, would expand to 90,000 square feet and Chick-fil-A would open a freestanding restaurant onsite.

      Ingle’s Markets has another store in Waynesville, store #58, Brown Avenue. With Walmart Supercenter nearby, this store could use a replacement to serve southwest Waynesville.

      Ingle’s Markets owns the property to store #50, Sylva. It can definitely use a pharmacy. If additional adjacent properties were acquired, it would be nice to construct a new store.

  4. H.D. Wimbledon February 11, 2015

    FYI: Parkway Bistro is by the old Frank’s NY Deli crew (great news for lovers of Reubens & hot pastramis). Via its facebook page:

  5. Tiger February 10, 2015

    It would not make sense for a supermarket to enter a regional market with one store. As Publix #1473, Pinnacle Point, nears closer to its opening, it would not be surprising to hear more about sites for new stores.

    Publix on Greenville Highway in Hendersonville will be complimented by the eventual replacement of Ingle’s Markets #77 on Spartanburg Highway, which no timetable for construction has been announced.


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