Strolling Reynolds Village in North Asheville

reynolds mountain village asheville

When you think about all of the communities being built up on all ends of Asheville and Buncombe County, there are a few that quickly come to mind. Of course you have Biltmore Village, which was a community built for the workers who were constructing the Biltmore Estate. They recently had a wonderful grocery store named Katuah Market open which sort of completes that area. Except for housing, which the Biltmore Property Group has several plans in the works to make that happen. Then you have Biltmore Park Town Square, which was started several years ago, and has some key attractions such as a movie theater, restaurants, offices and a YMCA; in addition to their community of homes and condos. The East and West sides of Asheville have nothing even similar to these, but Reynolds Village, on Reynolds Mountain, is laying the foundation for the North side of town.

reynolds mountain fountain asheville

We recently took a ride up to visit the Reynolds Village Shops and see what they had going on. It was kind of quiet, but this place is up and coming, and not too established yet. They survived the great economy depression of this era and made it through. The focus was most likely survival during those times. As it seems, they do not have an effective marketing team that is building relationships with the community and vendors yet, so the buzz is low and it is not yet exploding with growth. They do not have a website for the business community and theloftsasheville.com site listed on the Shops at Reynolds Village Facebook page is a dead link. The ReynoldsMountain.com website is dated and has a big dead space through the center of it at the moment. What we are saying is that they are piecing things together and still have a lot of work to do. So from online perception, it may still seem “under construction” if you may. But this is not the case. There are plenty of stores open with merchandise that you want and need. As far as the “big picture”… it is coming soon, and we are placing our bets on this being a hot-spot on the north side in the near future. As pictured above, they do have a beautiful water fountain that we enjoyed sitting by and listening to. A nice mid-day break.

asheville ymca reynolds mountain village

Of course the YMCA is like the staple in these area communities. A great organization which brings a wide variety of folks around, giving exposure and awareness to the great shops in Reynolds Village. Here are some of the shops that you should definitely check out if you are up in that neck of the woods:

asheville hair salon and pet salon

A hair salon for both humans, and one for our furry friends. Sorry hamsters and rabbits, this place is for the dogs; and cats. And although Shampoodle’s has the word “Poodle” in it, I believe they accept dogs of all races. Minerva’s Beauty Salon for humans looks like a great spot, and the cuts they show on their Facebook page are beautiful. I would definitely try this place out for my own hair if I was not already committed or if I needed a change.

asheville pilates and 9 round

In addition to the YMCA, there are several other shops that focus on health and fitness, including 9 Round Fitness and Asheville Pilates.

asheville kids reynolds mountain

If you have kids, they have a couple of great stores that you must see! First is the Spellbound Children’s Bookshop which has been a wonderful store in the Asheville area for years. You can also purchase their books online. Next is a place called AMPed Up Kids Consignment & Boutique, which features so many quality items for the kiddos. Attention Parents: GET HERE! We had some social conversation with them recently on Twitter and it was good. We definitely need to stop in there soon.

asheville art reynold mountain

And if art is your forte, the Shops at Reynolds Village features the Andrew Charles Gallery, which is a hidden gem showcasing beautiful local art, and rare collections from times past. Their artifacts are from places such as Egypt, West Africa, New Guinea, Colima West Mexico; with the oldest item being 5500 years old. I have seen nothing like this place in Asheville. Amazing! Studio B is a a framing shop right across the street and features contemporary art from local artists as well. Both of these places are worth the drive alone to see the art.

asheville florist knitting diva

And there are two shops in here that you ladies will especially love. Kaylynne’s Briar Patch Florist has so many great selections and from what I hear, their creativity is like none other. And… The Knitting Diva, and she is all about yarn! This place actually started as a weekly meeting at the Well-Bred Bakery and grew into this. Talk about Asheville grown!

livis pantry reynolds mountain

Livi’s Pantry is a great little grocery store featuring high quality foods, wines and more. We stopped by there recently and had a small lunch, some coffee and a business meeting. The owner was wonderful to us! They have a cute mini wine bar in the back where you can sit and sip some of their great selections. With Vino Vino Wine Market recently closing, this is the perfect place to stop and grab a bottle or two. They also have a deli in the back, and they are serving Boar’s Head Meats; so it must be good!

And Moe’s Original Barbecue is opening shop right outside the gates of Reynold’s Mountain and The Shops at Reynolds Village, and that place is BBQ and Beer Heaven! We definitely know we will be spending a lot more time up this way. You should too!




The Hop Ice Cream Shop: Past, Present & Future in Asheville

hop ice cream greg ashley
If you have been around Asheville for any period of time, you have surely heard of, if not visited the Hop Ice Cream Shop. As a matter of fact, this month they are turning 36 years old. Talk about about foodie landmark in the community; this is it! The Hop began back in 1978 when a guy from New York came through Asheville, loved it and decided to take an old gas station and make homemade, handmade, craft ice cream. He then sold the shop in the mid 80s, it passed through a few more hands, and a wonderful couple named Greg and Ashley took it over. Since then, and them; it has never been the same. Actually, Greg and Ashley worked for the 4th owner of The Hop; then through a series of events, ended up purchasing the business.
hop ice cream north asheville
Greg was born in Berwick Pennsylvania, moved to California, and then to Kingsport Tennessee. He remembers going as a child to Asheville to visit the Biltmore Estate with his family, and the great memories they made. As a teenager, his family moved to the suburbs of Houston Texas, but he ended up coming back to Asheville to attend UNCA in 2000. In 2003, he began working for The Hop. Ashley was born in the suburbs of Houston Texas, moved to Russia at 10 years old for about 2 years, then back to Houston. She met Greg while she was in High School, and then moved to Asheville in 2003 to be with Greg. This love story has yet to be told! Let get back to business…
Greg was coaching at the time, and Ashley was the manager of the Hop. The owner decided he wanted to sell. Greg’s grandfather “Pop” has recently passed away at the time, and the family was in mourning and transition. Out of nowhere, Greg’s father Walt asked them “what do you think about buying The Hop?” It was a question that would change their lives forever. This was an investment in our community, a huge responsibility with accountability to their family, a life decision that they could not reverse. The answer was “Yes” and they began the loan process, a story in itself as it was right on the hinge of the last recession, and one of the last SBA loans given at the time. From December 2007 to August of 2008 it was up in the air. The loan finally came through and Asheville ice cream began to hike to the next level in quality, selection and community relationships. They started with 5 part-time employees, and have now grown to 30+ employees. They opened the Hop West in October 2010 and they are getting ready to celebrate their 4 year anniversary there.
hop ice creamery vision
But growth and the future is in the works right now as Greg and Ashley recently attained a new location that will be called The Hop Ice Creamery on 167 Haywood Rd – Suite 20; just a stones throw down from Short Street Cakes and across the street from where the new HOLE Hot Doughnuts in being constructed. I can already hear it… “Asheville’s Dessert District” or “Asheville’s Sweet Slope” as these are just a couple of the community themes that came to mind.
greg ashley hop ice cream asheville
This new “Hop Spot” will simplify & increase productivity for both locations, allow them to increase their wholesale accounts, and provide their wholesale accounts with more volume. It will also enhance the customer experience and give Greg and Ashley the freedom to grow in many other directions. The location is ideal as it is a growing part of the booming West Asheville community. Some of their wholesale accounts include Katuah Market, UNCA, the Ice Cream Deck in Micahville, French Broad Rafting & Zip Lines, The Strand in Waynesville, Farmburger, Packs Tavern, Green Sage, and Sandy Bottom Trails.
hop ice creamery west asheville
The Hop is not going anywhere, but deepening their AVL roots, supporting the organic and homegrown scene, and growing their business naturally… as the opportunities arise from the hard work, team effort and relationship building that they have put forth. They will also have the ability to provide after-school tours for kids and families, showcasing the process, and tasting new ice creams freshly made right in front of them. A small bakery that complements ice cream may also be part of the future concept.
hop ice creamery greg ashley asheville north carolina
Greg, Ashley, and now also little Finn are staples in the Asheville community on both the business and personal side. If you have ever met them, you have met people with a community mindset and big hearts to back it up. The Hop Ice Creamery is simply the evidence, a big part of the evolution… their overall beautiful vision. And it all started with ice cream. Congratulations!!!

Railway of Dreams

The best way to tour a city is to know it, actually meet it, date it, and learn its history. Don’t we see new places for that very reason?  Don’t we travel to become part of something charming we’ve been bored for, and to find something steeped in a past we’ll weave a connection to?

I’ve had that priviledge, here in my own city.  A 3 mile ride over a once abandoned railroad track did it for me.  It wasn’t the ambiance of the French Broad trailing beside me, or the delightful park we stopped at to picnic and pose for family pictures at, though those places were among the highlights.  For me it was the story.  It was learning the track had sat there for nearly 60 years awaiting a promise.  The track had been useful once, told it would feed into bigger better tracks, and become a part of what Asheville was at the time; a city of railroads leading to industrial dreams, or just public transportation.  The Craggy Mountain Line was promised it would be part of the buzz that eventually had no room for it.  People forgot.

However, a man was born on August 10, 1964, that would save the railroad.  This man rode out of the womb on a steam engine with a dream as long as the track itself.  An avid trainlover, with a passion bordering insanity, his destiny would be to fulfil this railroad’s promise.  It would be a functioning part of Asheville one day.  Even better, it would be saved in the ninth hour, preserving the last of Asheville’s trolley , and usher in an era of old to the new generation.  It would bring joy to the smiling faces of children and train enthusiasts everywhere.  It would become more than hoped for, and would stand the test of time unlike the more prestigious rails that once thrived downtown.  It would carry those cars on its tired rails and reign once again.  It would become the little track that could.

My blessing?  I married into this dream, wedding the son of that man gifted to the lonely track.  I get to become a part of this history up close and personal, sharing my knowledge of it with the world.  This is as much a part of Asheville’s quaint history as anything I’ve seen.

A work in progress, the track will hopefully be open full time in the coming months.  Now, however, keep your eyes peeled for special holiday events, birthday party opportunities, and Saturday night rides.  Taste history, and become it’s family.  You’ll feel the dream when you first step foot on this line, the hallmark of perseverence.

 

http://www.craggymountainline.com

post by:  Lorna Hollifield

For more by Lorna visit http://www.lornahollifield.com and find her on twitter!

cml

 

Join the Asheville Community Content Team

We are putting together a Community Content Team for the new AskAsheville website and blog that we are launching in a few weeks. A team of 10 is already in place, but we are looking for more people who would like to contribute and share information about a variety of topics. Sections of the new site include News, Women, Beer, Food, Wine, Hotels, Photos, Videos, Business, Events, Music, Entertainment, Neighboring Towns and much more. We are interested in getting a great diversity of contributors that will share Asheville from their “point of view” on a daily, weekly or monthly basis.

You may be a Writer or Blogger in the WNC area that would like to post a weekly story to AskAsheville. Maybe you are a Photographer or Videographer in the community that wants to share a photo or some videos each week with a quick description on the blog. You may be a marketer and have a few clients or business connections that you would like to write about on a monthly basis. Or maybe you just like to go out and eat, drink, tour, dance, shop and have a good time; and you want to start documenting the experiences, making them count more, and building a portfolio of your work. You post it… and we distribute it online through our social media audiences which reach so many focused on the Asheville area.

Team meetings (online & offline) and full support will be offered including educational opportunities for you to teach your area of expertise, and learn from other teammates. We are implementing a mentorship and internship program as well, so if there is an area of media that you would like to learn more about or improve on; we can help you with training. We can also assist you with credit and a certificate for the work you complete. This could mean extra-credit for you in College and this will give you more credibility to potential employers and clients.

Building a community takes a little bit of this and a little bit of that. Some of you, some of me, some of all of us. Can you write 200 words per month or per week about something that pertains to Asheville NC? Can you provide one featured photo per week or month with 25 word description? Can you draw a weekly or monthly cartoon? Maybe you want to do an Asheville Short Story series? We’ve got your back! We will feature you on our new website, link to you, promote you and your content, and the whole team will support you. We invite you to apply to be on our Asheville Community Content Team.

Contact AskAsheville




The North Asheville Craft Beer Trek

Heading north from downtown Asheville on Merrimon Ave, there are a few key stops you may want to make when on the hunt for great beer on tap.

1. Luella’s Barbecue – One of our favorite places for barbecue in the Asheville area. Lots of craft beer on tap and also a full bar. Bar area and full restaurant.

2. The Bywater – This place is the Beer Only bar. Lots of taps and also wine and cocktails available. Great Asheville Beer setting and crowd. No food available, beer snacks periodically, allows outside delivery from places like Favilla’s NY Pizza, Valet Gourmet, etc. This is the only bar on the list that is not on Merrimon Ave, but it is worth the small detour.

3. Asheville Pizza – Great selection of local craft beer from their brewery and also several guest taps. Pizza everywhere, also a game room and movie theater. Nice place for the whole family.

4. Avenue M AVL – 14 taps, an outside patio, a full restaurant and a nice lounge area. Great food and cocktails.Tuesdays are local craft beer on tap night and trivia night. This is one of our favorite eating spots on the northside of town. Try the beef medallions appetizer!

5. Northside Grill – Lots of beer on tap including several local craft brews. Also a full restaurant, pool tables upstairs, jukebox and 2 bars. This is the last stop north before heading past Beaver Lake and into the Woodfin community.

6. Mother and Son Bistro – 3 beer taps and getting ready to possibly go to 8 locals and craft beer. No bar area, only tables inside and outside, but a beer bar may be coming soon. Full restaurant with many baked goods and desserts. Local beer used periodically in certain special cooked dishes. This is the furthest spot north before hitting Weaverville, where Blue Mountain Pizza and Jack of Hearts will be reigning and our choices when we are out that way.

Article by G Social Media