auto_parts_for_sale_asheville_2014CORRECTION: Baker, the property buyer listed below, has sold his interest in Ole Smoky Moonshine and no longer is involved in the business.

ORIGINAL POST Oct. 15: The auto parts store at 100 South Lexington Ave. on Asheville’s red hot real estate slab known as the South Slope sold on Tuesday for $1.8 million. Realtor Stephanie West listed the property for sale in February of this year for $1.95 million.

The property sits right behind two of Asheville’s most popular destinations: the nationally known Orange Peel music club and Wicked Weed Brewing, the top Asheville craft brewery that’s just been continuing to blow up. The property is next door (on the Lexington Avenue side) of Aloft Hotel, one of Asheville’s most popular boutique hotels.

The buyer: Joe Baker, founder of Ole Smoky Moonshine, based just over the mountain in Gatlinburg, Tenn. Ole Smoky is riding the wave of “legal moonshine” distilleries that have been opening in recent years. Ole Smoky is known for its “flavored” moonshine, with the liquor bearing names like “Pumpkin Pie” and “Big Orange.” From NPR on Ole Smoky:

Joe Baker, a criminal lawyer who traces his roots to the earliest settlers of eastern Tennessee, corralled two lawyer buddies to open the Ole Smoky distillery in Gatlinburg. Most of the town’s 4,000 residents earn their living from the throngs of tourists who come for the Smoky Mountains and the endless fudge shops.

“I thought it would be cool if we could do something involving moonshine and tourism and share this heritage,” Baker says. “We have an incredibly rich history with making liquor, and a lot of it stems from the land and the geography. It’s an important part of who we are,” says Baker, whose own family moonshine recipe is 200 years old.

Might Baker open an Ole Smoky distillery or store in Asheville? I don’t know. This is late breaking news, and I’ll be reaching out to Ole Smoky tomorrow.



  1. Legal moonshine is disgusting. It’s just watered down ethanol. If it doesn’t peel paint or power a car, may as well drink vodka, it tastes a whole lot better.

  2. luther blissett says:

    I’m always amused by the new crop of legal ‘shiners who claim to have 200-year-old recipes passed down over generations, which means they come from a family of criminals.

    • We hope so.

    • Just because something is law, doesn’t mean it is right. You can interpret that however you like.

    • Mike Terenzi says:

      Criminals? Only because the government wasn’t getting their taxes. Pay taxes then it’s alright?

    • That’s part of the culture, luther. There’s a certain pride in the ‘civil disobedience’ aspect of the history. I don’t think anyone thinks of their family as ‘criminals’.

      • luther blissett says:

        Oh, for sure: I’m just amused at the amount of hooey that’s coming out of the legal shiners’ marketing pitches. You can’t get into the business unless you claim some legendary past where great-great-granma defended the still against bears and granpappy dodged the revenoors in his 1928 Model A pickup.

        Never mind that distilling on a proper commercial scale is way different than filling a crates of Mason jars from a backyard still.

  3. That is going to be a game changer for that area! Yippee!

  4. “All the world’s a stage,” especially on the streets of Asheville!

  5. Bad headline, Jason. Obviously north of Hilliard and not on the south slope.

  6. This property would be fantastic for the needed

    ASHEVEGAS Casino ! Why let the Indians have all the

    casino money? We could MOP UP here if we ONLY had a

    casino! Change the law and open one!

  7. Yes yes yes. I’m so stoked for this. Just last week I was like where the heck can a man get a drink around here. I’m all for smallerish business but my god y’all this is what we have become; Boozeville. It sucks to be driven out of downtown by slightly buzzed tourist who stumble into the street and ride around in busses or trolleys gawking at us like amusements. I don’t want it to be the way it use to be or really any specific way. All I know is that downtown asheville sucks now. So Rich people please don’t ruin west asheville too, and if you do…stay the f away from swannanoa or I man chase you out of earth.

    • Driven out of downtown? That is a pretty weak mindset.
      In my opinion, I am the one gawking at tourists doing a poor job of crossing the street rather than the other way around. And maybe it has to do with the time of day that I frequent downtown, but the majority of the obviously drunk people I see are bums and transients.
      Sounds like you have the right idea though; Swannanoa: Anyway you like it

    • Don’t get it………..why are you “stoked” for this and then bemoan AVL as “Boozville?”

    • You don’t want it to be this way but don’t have a suggested way. Wimp.

    • I am with you Rob.
      Every Saturday morning I have to hop over piles of puke, broken bottles and see the vandalism by the inebriated folk the evening before and I am sad that our lovely city of artists, intellectuals, and activists has turned into a bunch of drunks that do not give a damn about anyone but themselves.

      And Indie, my suggestion is that you take a good long look at yourself in the mirror and ask, what good have you done today? What good have you added to this world?

  8. Frenzy.

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