Last month, Asheville Brewing announced that it would begin a 50/50 partnership with The Orange Peel to design the space + programming at 75 Coxe Ave. – the former Wells Fargo drive-through purchased by Asheville Brewing last year.
Since the announcement, we’ve all been wanting to know more about plans for the site – like live shows and other special events, plus logistics like parking. So we got the behind-the-scenes scoop from Mike Rangel, owner of Asheville Brewing Company, and Liz Whalen Tallent, manager of The Orange Peel, on their vision + plan for 75 Coxe Ave.
Together, these two bizzes have been in operation for about 50 years in Asheville, and they’re excited to step into this new chapter in a way that’s driven by local engagement and feedback. Most of all, they want 75 Coxe to be a community-focused space driven equally by locals, businesses + tourists – a key balance for the founders.
Here’s what we found out –
- The lot is 1.25 acres total and has a max capacity of 3,500 people.
- Before being purchased by Asheville Brewing, a hotel was in the works for the space and had put a bid on the site – they dropped out when discussions + rumors about the hotel moratorium started.
- The existing building (the former drive-through ATM and teller windows) will remain, but will be converted to create a concession area and seating – including premium rooftop seating for shows. Eventually, balcony space could also be added on the side of Asheville Brewing.
- The lot will be open for the public during normal daytime hours – and will be a park-like setting. Landscaping will add more grass and trees, plus some bricklike surfacing and paved areas where food trucks can park. The aesthetic will be functional, yet playful, with plenty of safe options – like inflatables – for kids.
- There will be an entrance from the street and from Asheville Pizza’s patio.
- There’s a large projector and a bright screen for al fresco movies + screenings.
- Lots of family-friendly programming will be on offer – like Frozen sing-a-longs, family karaoke nights + kids’ dance parties.
- Locals and families will feel comfortable + safe, and events will also draw out-of-town guests.
- The space will be collaborative – and they’re open to even more fun ideas.
With The Orange Peel on board, it’s no surprise that live outdoor shows are already being booked – the first one is Vampire Weekend, happening June 12 (and it’s already sold out). Here’s what you need to know about the site’s future as an outdoor venue for live music –
- Live music will be scheduled for around 6% of days in the year, about 15-20 shows. The first year, there will be fewer as things get up and running – more like 5-8 shows.
- Music won’t violate any city noise ordinances, which will likely mean shows will be over by 10 p.m. on weeknights + 11 p.m. on weekends. Noise ordinances are currently being updated by the City of Asheville and will be finalized by mid-February.
- There won’t be shows with heavy bass – like DJs + electronic music – planned for the site. Liz points to other outdoor shows put on by The Orange Peel at venues like Highland Brewing and New Belgium as examples of programming they’ll offer.
- Despite the site’s max capacity of 3,500, most shows will likely be smaller + more intimate.
- Asheville Brewing has also purchased 250 wireless headsets for late-night events when amplified sound would not be permitted – think dance parties, screenings + more.
- Concerned about noise? There will always be a way to get in touch with event organizers on show nights if you need to.
- The space is just down the street from the Buncombe County HHS Garage (entry on Coxe Ave.), which has 650+ spaces and is open 24/7.
- As a way to incentivize rideshare, there are plans for a dedicated lane off Asheland Ave. that could be used by Ubers and Lyfts to pick up passengers.
- The site is also beside the downtown ART station (49 Coxe Ave.). Asheville Brewing and The Orange Peel are hoping to sponsor extended bus schedules or shuttles to help people use multimodal transportation.
- Asheville Brewing may offer rewards, a.k.a. free pizza slices or ticket discounts, to people who take the bus or ride bikes to events. Sign us up, please. 🍕
- Besides movies, outdoor performances, shows, and events, the space will also feature local art installations, pop-up performances + more. As Liz notes, “Asheville desperately needs places where local artists and creators will be amplified.”
- City events that can’t be held at Memorial Stadium or Roger McGuire Green may also be held at the site.
- Sports fans, rejoice – there are plans in the works for gameday tailgating parties, early-morning screenings of soccer matches, overflow viewing for sold out Asheville City Soccer games, sports tournaments (like cornhole and ABYSA games) + more.
- Also in the works – special events like Shakespeare on the Slope + Symphony on the Slope, plus nonprofit events like info sessions, picnics, and meet-and-greets. And, seasonally-specific programming, like Christmas movies and iceless ice skating in the winter and beach volleyball + reggae shows in the summer.
- Other local breweries will also be able to host events, like company parties, festivals + more, on the lot.
- And, there will be a focus on sustainability – Asheville Brewing will likely sell economical tumblers for water, which will be provided at stations throughout the area, instead of plastic bottles.
Asheville Brewing + The Orange Peel have collected a lot of community feedback for the project – they’ve already met with Downtown Asheville Residential Neighbors, the Coalition of Asheville Neighborhoods, and other groups, and they’ll be meeting with more in the coming weeks. And, be on the lookout for the venue’s name + a new website – both will be announced in the next 30 days.
Now, they want to hear from you – what questions, comments, or programming ideas do you have? Have you been to another city where a venue like this was up and running, and what did you experience there that you loved? Let us know + we’ll pass on your feedback.