Staff Writer – Asheville Blog http://ashevilleblog.com Your Source for all things Asheville Fri, 18 May 2018 21:35:41 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.5.14 Your Guide to (Responsibly) Renting Your First Apartment http://ashevilleblog.com/guide-responsibly-renting-first-apartment/ http://ashevilleblog.com/guide-responsibly-renting-first-apartment/#respond Fri, 18 May 2018 21:35:41 +0000 http://ashevilleblog.com/?p=11679 Hunting for your first apartment is a big task; equal parts exciting, equal parts scary. While the prospect of living without parents, siblings, or dorm-moms may sound like a dream come true, the reality is that there’s a lot of responsibility involved. Enter: your guide to responsibly renting your first apartment. Read on for everything you need in order to be a responsible, respectable renter.  

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Hunting for your first apartment is a big task; equal parts exciting, equal parts scary. While the prospect of living without parents, siblings, or dorm-moms may sound like a dream come true, the reality is that there’s a lot of responsibility involved. Enter: your guide to responsibly renting your first apartment. Read on for everything you need in order to be a responsible, respectable renter.  

Monthly “Budget” isn’t just about the rental price

While the majority of your monthly budget will surely go to paying the monthly rental cost, there are a lot of other factors involved. In most cases, you’ll need to pay your own utilities, including water, gas, and electric. Will you want internet? Cable? It’s going to cost you.

Start determining your budget range by using a rent calculator like this one. Get a better idea of additional monthly expenses by asking property managers what residents often pay on utilities. Find out which internet providers service your area and what they charge. Even seemingly small things like laundry will add up over the course of a year, and the last thing you want is to get stuck with a monthly total you can’t afford.

Need to have or nice to have?

While granite countertops and hardwood floors are many a renter’s dream, their price tag isn’t always doable for your first apartment. Think about the features you really need in your first apartment, and set aside the ones you don’t. Consider your lifestyle: do you cook a lot? Suitable counter space may be a need to have; stainless steel appliances are nice to have. Do you work from home? An office sure would be nice, but room for a desk and chair is definitely necessary. While it may be tough to turn down a community pool or an on-site gym, that just may be the choice you need to make.

leasing house

Get down to the nitty-gritty

Lease-wise, that is. Legalese is boring, yes, but it’s incredibly important. Your lease is a binding contract and contains vital information that you, as a renter, need to understand. Make sure to take your time when reading the lease and understand every element. You may want to ask a family member to look over it with you, and call your landlord if there’s anything you don’t understand. While we are all guilty of clicking “I accept the terms and conditions” without reading a single sentence, your lease is the wrong contract to pass up.

Check yourself before you rent yourself

Perhaps the most intimidating element of renting an apartment is the often-dreaded rental credit check. Your landlord needs to verify that you’re trustworthy with your money, and they’ll likely do so with a comprehensive screening of your background. It sounds scary, but don’t stress. Be honest about anything in your past that may come up on the background report, and you’ll be fine.

Sit down, relax, and stay a while

Wherever you choose, you’re going to be spending a lot of time there. While a midday viewing of an apartment may portray a tranquil haven, once rush-hour hits, you may find yourself gridlocked in a loud, busy nightmare. Stop by the apartment multiple times, during the week and on the weekends, and at different times of day. Get an idea of what it’s like on a Saturday morning or a Wednesday night. Spend some time hanging around to discern whether your upstairs neighbor hosts a lot of guests or the dog two doors down has a barking problem. You’ll thank yourself later.

Finding your first apartment can be a daunting task. By following this guide, you can turn “daunting” into “doable” and rent responsibly.

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The Diverse Expressions of Asheville Art http://ashevilleblog.com/diverse-expressions-asheville-art/ http://ashevilleblog.com/diverse-expressions-asheville-art/#comments Thu, 03 May 2018 15:15:19 +0000 http://ashevilleblog.com/?p=11649 There is no single set of values or aesthetic traits that defines art.  Art is made up of a highly-diverse range of activities that create visual, auditory, or performed artifacts reflective of the artist’s imagination and mood.  It is created to be appreciated for its beauty or the emotion it stimulates. Art can be a personal journey and for some, and extremely decompressing, while providing laser-sharp focus and the opportunity for perfectionism.

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There is no single set of values or aesthetic traits that defines art.  Art is made up of a highly-diverse range of activities that create visual, auditory, or performed artifacts reflective of the artist’s imagination and mood.  It is created to be appreciated for its beauty or the emotion it stimulates. Art can be a personal journey and for some, and extremely decompressing, while providing laser-sharp focus and the opportunity for perfectionism.

One of the most perfect places in the world for artistic inspiration is Asheville, North Carolina.  The Asheville arts scene is an explosion of performing arts locations, hundreds of artists, and countless art galleries.  Art festivals and events abound in this city and are woven into every aspect of Asheville life.  Art is not hidden away in Asheville; it is shouted from every vantage point.  Walls, buildings, and even underpasses, are canvases for Asheville’s creatives.

asheville art
Photo by Denise Carbonell

It is an exercise in futility trying to list all of the best places to visit, so let’s look at some of the must-see attractions and a few of the unusual. Worth visiting is the Black Mountain College Art Museum and Art Center in the heart of downtown Asheville.  Artists Robert Rauschenberg and Willem de Kooning received their tutelage at North Carolina’s Black Mountain College, a progressive art school opened in the 1930s.  The art center now pays homage to this legacy in the form of art exhibitions, performance arts, film and more.

Another essential visit is to the River Arts District (RAD), a former industrial zone with 22 buildings along the French Broad River that are simply teeming with artists.  The once-polluted area is now celebrated by both businesses and the local artists who work year-round.

For those who like the feeling of self-expression, there are many workshops you can take to fully-immerse yourself in the art experience.  You should pay a visit to The Village Potters, which is also in The RAD.  It is a community, with talented potters in-house, that also nurtures creative self-expression. The fully-outfitted Education Center provides ongoing classes in wheel and hand building, among other classes for beginners and intermediates, plus advanced programs for the serious potter-to-be.  You can even book your own personalized Get Your Hands Dirty workshop for yourself or a group of enthusiasts.

Photo by Takeaway
Photo by Takeaway

Asheville is famous for its beer, but a cafe latte is almost as popular. And a set of perfect microbubbles can be turned into an art experience called “latte art”, which can be found at any of the coffeehouses nestled in the middle of the RAD. There’s even a Chemistry and Latte Art workshop where baristas learn exercises on how to pour latte art. 

You can also unleash another unusual art treat when you take one of the daily glass-blowing workshops at the North Carolina Glass Center.  Using century-old techniques, visitors can make beads, cups, or even paperweights from hand-blown glass.

Asheville is an art lover’s utopia.  From the countless galleries to the milky taste of unusual latte art at a pastry shop, the experience can be a surfeit of visual experiences that will satiate even the fussiest of art lovers.  It can also be a highly-personal journey where, as a visitor, you can look for a workshop on pottery, the performing arts or anything else creative that meets your whims and fancies. Diverse choices in a diverse city make Asheville a personally therapeutic and inspired experience.

 

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Fundraising Goes Public for Red Panda Exhibit at Nature Center http://ashevilleblog.com/fundraising-goes-public-red-panda-exhibit-nature-center/ http://ashevilleblog.com/fundraising-goes-public-red-panda-exhibit-nature-center/#respond Sat, 28 Apr 2018 00:48:55 +0000 http://ashevilleblog.com/?p=11668 The Friends of the WNC Nature Center will fund 83% of the Asheville City Council’s approved $184,820 project: construction of a red panda habitat. “We’re excited to work with the City to make this project possible. We have agreed to donate $154,200 toward the construction of this habitat,” said Kelly Shanafelt, Executive Director of the Friends. The Friends will rely on individual donors as well as grant funders to raise the $154,200 and they’re already well on their way!

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The Friends of the WNC Nature Center will fund 83% of the Asheville City Council’s approved $184,820 project: construction of a red panda habitat. “We’re excited to work with the City to make this project possible. We have agreed to donate $154,200 toward the construction of this habitat,” said Kelly Shanafelt, Executive Director of the Friends. The Friends will rely on individual donors as well as grant funders to raise the $154,200 and they’re already well on their way!

“We’ve raised about 40% of the funds needed, due in large part to a single donor family who was inspired by the red pandas they visited while on a trip to China,” said Shanafelt. The Friends have also been raising project funds through the sale of red panda themed merchandise at the gift shop they oversee within the Nature Center.

The red pandas are the first species to be introduced to the Center as part of its new Prehistoric Appalachia project, part of the Center’s 2020 Wild Vision. Red pandas are endangered with less than 10,000 individuals living in the wild. The most successful red panda breeding program in the world is at Zoo Knoxville, and skeletal remains of an ancient ancestor of the red panda have been found at the Gray Fossil Site in Gray, TN.

“The central Asian range of the modern day red panda is almost identical climate-wise to the Southern Appalachians so our pandas should feel very much at home in Asheville,” said Chris Gentile, WNC Nature Center Director. “The fact that the fossilized remains of their ancestor the Bristol’s Panda have been discovered in Eastern Tennessee indicates that these pandas were once prevalent in our area.”

The Nature Center hopes to welcome a red panda this fall, and will eventually host a breeding pair. You can donate to support this project at wildwnc.org/red-panda-campaign .

The Friends of the WNC Nature Center is a non profit organization that has provided funds for capital projects and other needs at the Center for over 40 years. Recent projects funded by the Friends include the Bear Climbing Structure which was built in 2017 and the Outreach Education Program, which has served over 7,000 people in the past year. The Friends are also donating over $880,000 toward the Center’s new Front Entrance, opening in late May, raised through contributions by the Asheville Tourism Development Authority, Festiva, and many gracious donors.

 

The Friends’ mission is to support the programs, facilities and the residents of the Western North Carolina Nature Center, which showcases the fauna and flora of the southern Appalachian region. The WNC Nature Center connects people with the animals and plants of the Southern Appalachian Mountain region by inspiring appreciation, nurturing understanding, and advancing conservation of the region’s rich biodiversity. For more information on the Friends of the WNC Nature Center, or to join the Friends and support future projects, visit www.wildwnc.org .

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Hop Along Reveals New Music Video; Plays at The Grey Eagle http://ashevilleblog.com/hop-along-reveals-new-music-video-plays-grey-eagle/ http://ashevilleblog.com/hop-along-reveals-new-music-video-plays-grey-eagle/#respond Fri, 13 Apr 2018 14:02:32 +0000 http://ashevilleblog.com/?p=11625 Last week, Hop Along‘s new album Bark Your Head Off, Dog was released via Saddle Creek and was met with incredible critical acclaim across the board and the pond. Lead single “How Simple” has found a home on stations including Sirius XM, Sirius The Loft, WFUV, KCRW, KEXP and The Current, as well as rave reviews including Pitchfork, NPR, Esquire, Vulture, VICE’s Noisey and Stereogum.

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Last week, Hop Along‘s new album Bark Your Head Off, Dog was released via Saddle Creek and was met with incredible critical acclaim across the board and the pond. Lead single “How Simple” has found a home on stations including Sirius XM, Sirius The Loft, WFUV, KCRW, KEXP and The Current, as well as rave reviews including Pitchfork, NPR, Esquire, Vulture, VICE’s Noisey and Stereogum.

Today, Hop Along shares the “How Simple” video, marking the first official video for the album and the first time the band has starred in a music video. The song’s joyful, kinetic energy is met with its emotional depth as viewers are immersed into the the fantastical world they create.

Frontwoman Frances Quinlan worked closely with director Derrick Belcham in creating the video. “This is my first time appearing in a music video; in which case I decided to do something that felt risky to me,” says Quinlan. “I told myself that I’ve danced through my own house solo enough times to do an alright job of it in front of a camera. All that being said, I’m still surprised that this piece came to be. I wasn’t sure I had it in me to do it. Derrick did an excellent job directing, he made it a lot easier for me to access that part of myself and made it all look dreamy in a way that I couldn’t have achieved otherwise.” Belcham shares, “Frances came to me with a fully-fleshed out idea for this video, and approached the dancing with so much enthusiasm and vulnerability, it was such a pleasure to work this thing out with her.”

Self-produced and recorded at The Headroom in Philadelphia by Reinhart and Kyle Pulley, the formidable 9-song collection is the band’s strongest and most cohesive album to date. Crafted by Frances Quinlan (songwriter, lead vocalist, and rhythm guitarist), Tyler Long (bass), Joe Reinhart (guitar), and Mark Quinlan (drums), the album considers what it’s like to cast off longheld and misguided perceptions, yet without the assurance of knowing what new ones will replace them.

Hop Along will bring their dynamic, powerhouse live shows to stages across the nation this spring. Full list of tour dates below:

US Tour Dates

* = Saintseneca supporting

# = Bat Fangs supporting

@ = Ratboys supporting

5/1: Ithaca, NY @ The Haunt *

5/2: Holyoke, MA @ Gateway City Arts *

5/3: Boston, MA @ Royale *

5/5: Baltimore, MD @ Ottobar *

5/6: Richmond, VA @ The Broadberry *

5/7: Durham, NC @ Motorco Music Hall *

5/8: Asheville, NC @ The Grey Eagle Tavern & Music Hall *

5/10: Atlanta, GA @ Terminal West *

5/11: Birmingham, AL @ Saturn *

5/12: Nashville, TN @ Exit / In *

5/14: Indianapolis, IN @ The Hi-Fi *

5/15: Columbus, OH @ Ace of Cups *

5/19: Philadelphia, PA @ Union Transfer

5/30: Brooklyn, NY @ Brooklyn Steel # *

6/1: Portland, ME @ Port City Music Hall #

6/2: Montreal, QC @ Le Belmont #

6/3: South Burlington, VT @ Higher Ground #

6/5: Washington, DC @ 9:30 Club #

6/6: Pittsburgh, PA @ Spirit #

6/8: Toronto, ON @The Legendary Horseshoe Tavern #

6/9: Ferndale, MI @ The Loving Touch #

6/10: Chicago, IL @ Metro #

6/12: Milwaukee, WI @ Turner Hall #

6/13: St. Paul, MN @ Turf Club #

6/16: Kansas City, MO @ The Riot Room #

6/18: Dallas, TX @ Club Dada #

6/19: Austin, TX @ Barracuda #

6/20:Houston, TX @ White Oak Music Hall #

6/22: St. Louis, MO @ Delmar Hall

6/23: Louisville, KY @ Zanzabar @

 

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Rainbow Kitten Surprise Show Photos http://ashevilleblog.com/rainbow-kitten-surprise-show-photos/ http://ashevilleblog.com/rainbow-kitten-surprise-show-photos/#respond Thu, 05 Apr 2018 14:26:16 +0000 http://ashevilleblog.com/?p=11612 Were you at the epic Rainbow Kitten Surprise show that happened at The Orange Peel March 31st? The Boone based band sold out the venue and played to an enthusiastic crowd. If you weren't able to catch the show, relive the glory through our photos and check out the band's new album How To Friend, Love, Freefall available on Spotify April 6 2018. 

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Were you at the epic Rainbow Kitten Surprise show that happened at The Orange Peel March 31st? The Boone based band sold out the venue and played to an enthusiastic crowd. If you weren’t able to catch the show, relive the glory through our photos and check out the band’s new album How To Friend, Love, Freefall available on Spotify April 6 2018. 

 

[See image gallery at ashevilleblog.com]

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The Collection Releases New Song; Plays AVL 4/7/18 http://ashevilleblog.com/collection-releases-new-song-plays-avl-4718/ http://ashevilleblog.com/collection-releases-new-song-plays-avl-4718/#respond Mon, 02 Apr 2018 16:02:32 +0000 http://ashevilleblog.com/?p=11615 "Plaintive, intimate and imbued with a weary grace, “Beautiful Life”, the new single from North Carolina’s the Collection, soon rises, lifting expansively to a place of hope. Though we might ultimately be tilting at windmills, we all have that spirit somewhere deep inside, ready to give its small spark, which soon builds to a fire that leads us out of our darkest places and into the sunshine of our shared humanity. 

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Plaintive, intimate and imbued with a weary grace, “Beautiful Life”, the new single from North Carolina’s the Collection, soon rises, lifting expansively to a place of hope. Though we might ultimately be tilting at windmills, we all have that spirit somewhere deep inside, ready to give its small spark, which soon builds to a fire that leads us out of our darkest places and into the sunshine of our shared humanity. 

For the past 7 years, David Wimbish, along with the various iterations his band the Collection, have been charting the ebb and flow of a life seen through the eyes of a poet. Ars Moriendi, their third release – and first full-length LP – grappled with the process of coming to terms of the loss of a dear friend to suicide. Recorded when the band had well over a dozen members, the album enfolds its listeners and brings them into a ground-shaking world where they are forced to ask the same questions the members of the Collection bore through the difficult process.     

A year later, Wimbish found his faith and courage left at the bottom of a spiritual well. Their next release, Listen To The River, is the story of the rope that he used to climb out; one that’s strands were made of great spiritual writers, from Rumi and Kahlil Gibran to Herman Hesse and Lao Tse. 

The process that followed was a re-examination and reorientation of both his spirituality, and his marriage to member Mira Joy after mutually deciding to divorce, ultimately leading to an album created together, hoping to honor the past while accepting the present. Recoded in February 2016 at a little farm in Sophia, NC by producer Stephen Price, the band expanded on their instrument collection, adding in the new textures of Rhodes, Harp, Vibraphone, and Saxophone, among other things. 

Their forthcoming release, Entropy, and its debut single “Beautiful Life”, in many ways marks a rebirth of the Collection. “After ‘Listen To The River’ came out, and my ex-wife and bandmate Mira and I split up, my car got totaled, most of my best friends moved to the west coast, I relocated cities, I was out of work, and a few other members decided their time in the band had come to a close” explains Wimbish. “I kind of thought the band was over.” As the artist is bound to do, Wimbish poured himself into his work. Relying on himself to play most of the instruments, Wimbish was forced to strip things down and focus on melody. 

Intending to release the new work as a solo record, Wimbish called a meeting to discuss the future of the Collection. “I wasn’t sure I’d have a band anymore” says Wimbish. “When we finally got together to talk about the band, I realized that I still had some folks that were all about this, and all about the music.” Wimbish had those players – and new additions husband and wife Sarah McCoy and Joshua Linhart – come in and add to the spirit of the record as well. 

Lead single “Beautiful Life” came late in the process. “When I played roughs of the record to my current partner, she said she loved the songs, but that they felt much sadder than I actually am in person” tells Wimbish. “I went home and read ‘Wild Geese’ by Mary Oliver, which I love because it offers a perspective of compassion and a grace offered by the natural turning and growing of the world. Viewing change as the natural order of the world helped bring some kind of beauty to the chaos, that forgiveness or repentance can come from just aligning oneself with the earth, and with being quiet; and the song was born.”

Entropy, by definition, is the tendency of all things to move gradually into disorder. As Wimbish tells us, “I realized, as my life moved to disorder – towards entropy, that I had to re-frame the disorder as a natural way of life. I started to see all the change as the best thing that had ever happened to me. And this record was my way of writing about and through all that change in my life. My hope is that people hear the whole record through the lens of that song, through hope and beauty, and honesty.”

 

-Ever Kipp, Tiny Human

The Collection’s upcoming album Entropy was mixed by Stephen Price (Chad Lawson, Jonathan David Helser), and mastered by Dave Mcnair (Bob Dylan, Bruce Springsteen). Over the last year since The Collection’s previous album, Listen To The River, the band has tightened their sound and members, expanding each person’s musical responsibilities to include instruments from trombone and harmonium to rhodes and lap steel. But while the band still thrives in it’s grand orchestration, the new single and album focus on the core structures and singable melodies that have only been implied in the past.

What’s special about this single is the story behind it. The new album, Entropy, was written to process the divorce of vocalist David from wife and bandmate Mira Joy. The songs reflect the heavy subject matter, and after listening to them, co-producer and partner Morgan Siem challenged David, “Where are the songs that exude the joy you carry?” With that in mind, and a fresh reading of, “Wild Geese,” by Mary Oliver, “Beautiful Life” was born as a search for beauty, forgiveness, and joy while in the midst of suffering.

The Collection plays at The Grey Eagle in Asheville NC April 7th 2018. Doors are at 7, tickets are still available. 

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Surfer Blood To Play Grey Eagle 4-27-2018 http://ashevilleblog.com/surfer-blood-play-grey-eagle-4-27-2018/ http://ashevilleblog.com/surfer-blood-play-grey-eagle-4-27-2018/#respond Thu, 29 Mar 2018 21:10:17 +0000 http://ashevilleblog.com/?p=11521 Fresh off the release of a limited edition album of covers, West Palm Beach, Fla.’s Surfer Blood has announced a concert atFresh off the release of a limited edition album of covers, West Palm Beach, Fla.’s Surfer Blood has announced a concert at the Grey Eagle in Asheville, N.C., as part of an East Coast tour. The show will take place on Friday, April 27th with Los Angeles dream-pop band Winter. the Grey Eagle in Asheville, N.C., as part of an East Coast tour. The show will take place on Friday, April 27th with Los Angeles dream-pop band Winter.

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Surfer Blood to play the Grey Eagle in Asheville with LA artist Winter

Fresh off the release of a limited edition album of covers, West Palm Beach, Fla.’s Surfer Blood has announced a concert at the Grey Eagle in Asheville, N.C., as part of an East Coast tour. The show will take place on Friday, April 27th with Los Angeles dream-pop band Winter.

American indie rock band Surfer Blood released two albums in 2017. February saw the release of their fourth full-length record, ‘Snowdonia.’ In October, Joyful Noise Records issued a special vinyl-only Surfer Blood album of covers – a limited edition of 1000 copies –  available only through mail order and at shows. This one-time vinyl pressing features Surfer Blood covering some wildly disparate artists including Outkast, Chad & Jeremy, Pavement, Cream, and Mudhoney. 

Fans can expect Surfer Blood hits from across their discography and a surprise or two. Openers Winter will have the crowd floating. The show is all ages. Tickets are $12-$15. 8 p.m. doors.

Purchase tickets: https://www.ticketfly.com/purchase/event/1650095

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Mercy Urgent Care Offers $25 Sports Physicals to Student Athletes http://ashevilleblog.com/mercy-urgent-care-offers-25-sports-physicals-student-athletes/ http://ashevilleblog.com/mercy-urgent-care-offers-25-sports-physicals-student-athletes/#respond Wed, 28 Mar 2018 21:10:29 +0000 http://ashevilleblog.com/?p=11524 Mercy Urgent Care is offering a special rate of $25.00 on sports physicals for all elementary through high school students from now through May 31, 2018. Individuals may drop in to one of the four urgent care locations in Buncombe County or the one in Transylvania County at their convenience.

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Mercy Urgent Care is offering a special rate of $25.00 on sports physicals for all elementary through high school students from now through May 31, 2018. Individuals may drop in to one of the four urgent care locations in Buncombe County or the one in Transylvania County at their convenience.

Parents and guardians of student athletes should their school’s physical form with them for their physical. Students 18 years and older must present a valid photo ID. Students under 18 years must be accompanied by an adult with a valid photo ID. Payment can be made with cash, check, or credit card. Insurance will not be accepted for this special offer.

There are approximately 5,500 student athletes in the Buncombe County School System alone. Mercy Urgent Care hopes that the convenience and affordability of their sports physicals will ensure children who would like to participate are not deterred by the cost of a physical.

About Mercy Urgent Care: Mercy Urgent Care has served more than one million patients in the Asheville area since 1985. Providing, high-quality, affordable and convenient medical care for non-life-threatening illnesses and injuries, the Buncombe County locations (three in Asheville, one in Weaverville) are open seven days a week, 362 days a year, except for Easter, Thanksgiving and Christmas. A fifth site in Brevard provides care for the residents of Transylvania County. The West location has the most extensive hours and is open Monday-Friday: 7 a.m-8:30 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday: 9 a.m.-7 p.m. More information about hours and locations can be found at www.mercyurgentcare.org

 

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Sanctuary Brewing Company to Host Third Annual Vegan Chili Cookoff http://ashevilleblog.com/3rd-annual-vegan-chili-cookoff/ http://ashevilleblog.com/3rd-annual-vegan-chili-cookoff/#respond Tue, 20 Feb 2018 17:44:25 +0000 http://ashevilleblog.com/?p=11501 Come Sunday, chili lovers from all over will be digging into bowls of deliciousness at Sanctuary Brewing Company, 147 1st Ave East in Hendersonville, NC. The popular brewery is hosting its Third Annual Vegan Chili Cookoff on Sunday, February 25th from 2 to 5 p.m., with music by the brotherly harmonic duo, Brother Bluebird.

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Come Sunday, chili lovers from all over will be digging into bowls of deliciousness at Sanctuary Brewing Company, 147 1st Ave East in Hendersonville, NC. The popular brewery is hosting its Third Annual Vegan Chili Cookoff on Sunday, February 25th from 2 to 5 p.m., with music by the brotherly harmonic duo, Brother Bluebird.

Anyone and everyone is welcome to enter the mouthwatering contest for a fee of $15. All entries must be completely free from animal products, but otherwise, anything goes! Each entrant needs to bring one full-sized crockpot of their scrumptious creation. Winners will receive a certificate and cast iron skillet, the perfect tool for the home chef. If you’re more of a foodie and less of a cook, you can taste all the chili you want for a fee of $15 for adults, $10 for kids (free under three).

“Our chili cookoff is one of my favorite events of the year,” says Sanctuary co-founder Lisa McDonald. “You’d be blown away by some of the incredible chefs we have in the area and the amazing chili they make – all animal free! Seriously, it’s not-to-be-missed for and anyone who loves great chili.”

Attendees can watch their chili selections down with a whole host of craft beer options from the signature, flavorful Hop Pig IPA to the refreshing Bobby Beer Jr. Kolsch. Sanctuary has 20 rotating taps featuring freshly brewed creations from light to malty to hoppy, plus a new wine menu and cider and non-alcoholic options.

The proceeds from the cookoff will benefit Sweet Bear Rescue Farm, the new 501(c)(3) nonprofit founded by Sanctuary owners McDonald and Joe Dinan. The farm is home to 19 animals including best friends Ollie the pot-bellied pig and Charlotte the chicken; Maggie and Shadow, two newly adopted goats; George and Paul, turkeys rescued by Farm Sanctuary and who recently joined the fold, and numerous other furry/feathered inhabitants.

Sanctuary Brewing has raised thousands of dollars for charitable causes since its opening in 2015, offers free Sunday meals for anyone in need, and has a Kindness Wall outside the main entrance that’s always stocked with essentials for the local homeless population. Recently featured in Thrive and Our State magazines, Sanctuary has even garnered the attention of big names like comedian Ricky Gervais, ARCA racecar driver Leilani Munter, and filmmaker Kip Anderson (Cowspiracy, What the Health).

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Biltmore Village Oyster Bar Shucks Franchise http://ashevilleblog.com/biltmore-village-oyster-bar-shucks-franchise/ http://ashevilleblog.com/biltmore-village-oyster-bar-shucks-franchise/#respond Thu, 08 Feb 2018 15:19:39 +0000 http://ashevilleblog.com/?p=11470 A popular Asheville restaurant is shucking its franchise shell.

Formerly Virgola, local owners Steve and Nan Klein have parted ways with their franchise affiliation to become The Wine & Oyster, an independently-owned restaurant in Asheville’s flourishing culinary community.

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A popular Asheville restaurant is shucking its franchise shell.

Formerly Virgola, local owners Steve and Nan Klein have parted ways with their franchise affiliation to become The Wine & Oyster, an independently-owned restaurant in Asheville’s flourishing culinary community.

“We are locals and it is now a locally run, independent restaurant,” Steve said, who originally opened Virgola at 2 Hendersonville Road in Biltmore Station under the franchise in June of 2017.

Their new name, The Wine and Oyster, represents a new beginning for the location, the menu and for the Kleins.

“There is a lot of value in the change for us, and we hope in the community,” Steve said. “We have a lot of loyal customers and we want to continue to make this a warm cozy place for everyone to enjoy. We are maintaining our foundation, but building our own identity.”

To celebrate their grand re-opening, The Wine & Oyster is throwing a re-branding bash Wednesday, Feb. 14 with an evening of local music by Asheville’s own Jesse Barry, fine wines and of course, a feast of fresh raw oysters.

“We hope everyone can come out and celebrate with us,” said Steve. “The Village has been so supportive to us during this time and we are excited to have this opportunity
and look forward to our new beginnings.”

The decision to “unchain” Steve says, came because of the desire to create a restaurant more aligned with the independent spirit of the Asheville community.

“We wanted to be able to get more creative with our menu and offer more items that our customers request,” Steve said. “It gives us the flexibility to be able to adapt to the Asheville market, and make changes to wine and food menu that will be more attractive to customers.”

The current space, a 1,400-square foot eatery and bar, will for the most part remain the same.

However, The Wine & Oyster will expand on their menu, adding fresh ingredients and new items like flatbreads, olive and charcuterie plates and fresh salads. They also plan
to apply for a full liquor license and intend to feature whiskey from local distilleries and craft cocktails to compliment their extensive wine list.

As for the star of the sea, The Wine & Oyster will keep up to eight varieties of cold water oysters on their menu on any given day – in addition to a rotating menu of funky seasonal specials like Va Va Voom and Sex on the Beach oysters, a Valentine’s Day special.

“We wanted the ability to be more creative in the kitchen and this gives us that,” Steve said. “The food scene in Asheville is incredible and we want to be able to offer a menu
that matches that.”

For the locals and weekday visitors, they will begin weekly events and daily happy hour featuring $1 oyster of the day, shrimp cocktail for $9 (reg. $15) and your choice of three items from their charcuterie for only $15 (reg. $21).

As local business owners, they want to give back to the community. During the past few months, they have held fundraisers and donated to Habitat for Humanity, Manna Food Bank, and Caring for Children. Events are already scheduled this year to donate a percentage of sales to The Asheville Humane Society, Friends of the Smokies, the Jewish Secular Community of Asheville (JSCA) and other local charities.

“We want to give back,” Nan said. “It is something we are both very passionate about and we look forward to more opportunities to partner with many more organizations throughout our community.”

The Wine & Oyster is open daily from 4 p.m. – 10 p.m. Mon – Thurs.; and 3 p.m. – 11 p.m. Friday and Saturday evening. For more information visit www.thewineandoyster.com or call 828-676-2700.

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