Jason Sandford

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

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Welcome back from Easter weekend! I hope everybody had a great time. I took a bit of a break, but I’m getting back into the swing of things. (It wasn’t all vacation, as me and my crew were busy tightening up website security and doing some other infrastructure work.) I apologize in advance for being behind on returning messages and will get caught up soon. Onward!

-The popular Mamacita’s burrito joint on Biltmore Avenue is closed for what the restaurant terms some “exciting” renovations. Can’t wait to see what they’ve got it store.

-Speaking of recent restaurant renovation work, the ever-popular Over Easy Cafe, also on Biltmore Avenue, recently reopened for a great interior update.

-The former Vincenzo’s restaurant location at 10 N. Market St. in downtown Asheville is set to be the home of a new Mexican restaurant called Polanco, the Asheville Citizen-Times reports. The restaurant is the work of Luke Gronski, who recently moved to Asheville from Chicago, the newspaper reports.

-The new Starbucks at the corner of Patton and Florida avenues in West Asheville has opened. There’s a new Chipotle opening in the same new shopping center.

-Baba Nahm, the new downtown restaurant featuring Middle Eastern street food, has opened in the Grove Arcade. The restaurant is the work of one of Asheville’s most well-known restaurateurs, Reza Setayesh, and his business partners Brian and Laura Smith, the husband and wife team who took over Setayesh former venture, named Rezaz, in Biltmore Village a couple of years ago.

Asheville Citizen-Times reporter Tonya Maxwell, who led a number of investigative projects for the newspaper, has announced that she’s leaving the newspaper to pursue other freelance opportunities.

-Asheville GreenWorks will host a Hard 2 Recycle event beginning at 10 a.m. on April 29 at the City Public Works parking lot at 161 S. Charlotte St. Items accepted at the event include Styrofoam and packing peanuts, electronics, metals (all kinds), batteries, broken and working appliances, books (both for recycling and donation), cardboard, furniture, desktop/laptop computers and computer accessories, toner cartridges, cell phones, and select personal care and beauty item containers. CRT and tube televisions are accepted for a recycling fee of $10 (not accepting wooden console TVs). A detailed list of all items accepted is available here. Asheville Area Habitat for Humanity, Asheville Humane Society, and Snake, Rabbit, and Snail Bookmobile will be on site accepting donations of building supplies and furniture, animal sanctuary supplies, and gently used books respectively.

-Woody’s Steaks & Wings, which features Philly cheesesteak and chicken cheesesteaks, wings, meatball and sausage subs, burgers and more recently opened at Asheville Outlets.

-Spellbound Children’s Bookshop, Asheville’s locally owned independent bookstore for kids and teens, will present a special fundraising event for the Buncombe County Literacy Council featuring one of the most critically acclaimed writers of young adult literature in the world today, Marcus Sedgwick, beginning at 5:30 p.m. on April 25 at Twisted Laurel in downtown Asheville. Here’s more from a press release:

It’s a publication day celebration for the American edition of his timely and important new book, Saint Death. In addition to being well researched and beautifully written, it’s a gripping thriller set on the Mexican-US border and asks the questions of our day: what sort of country do we want to live in; can we have a free market without freedom of movement; is it better to die a good man than live as a bad one?

Emceed by local author Allan Wolf, the event will take place 5:30 to 7:30 on Tuesday, April 25th at Twisted Laurel in downtown Asheville.

All proceeds from ticket sales, as well as 20 percent of on-site book sales, will be donated to the Literacy Council of Buncombe County. Cost is $45 ticket includes a hardcover signed copy of Saint Death, as well as heavy appetizers and non-alcoholic drinks. There will be a cash bar for those over 21, but it’s an all ages event. The author will sign books after his presentation. Event details and ticket sales at

Jason Sandford

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

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  1. Jenny April 18, 2017

    Also in food news, PennyCup Coffee opened a new cafe in east Asheville, next door to Creekside Taphouse on Beverly. I was eating at Creekside and didn’t even know it was there! Until I was near Tunnel and Beverly and saw a sign that it was now open.

    1. Jason Sandford April 18, 2017

      Yes! Thanks for the update!There’s so much going on!


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