Plus, ArtsAVL releases its Creative Spaces report.
May 15, 2024 6AM-Top banner logo-small.png


Today’s Forecast

72º | 76% chance of precipitation
Sunrise 6:24 a.m. | Sunset 8:28 p.m.

Incoming… a RAD new sandwich shop
black cat sandwich co.png
You’re looking at the future home of Black Cat Sandwich Company. | Photo via Suzy Phillips
The River Arts District is adding a new flavor to its palette. Black Cat Sandwich Company is the latest endeavor from Suzy Phillips, owner of Gypsy Queen Cuisine and Simple Cafe & Juice Bar, and business partner Dave Campbell. The 20-25 seat restaurant will debut this summer at 375 Depot St., the former site of the Magnetic Theatre.

Inspired by the cuisine of Phillips’ travels and a lifelong love for mortadella, a sandwich shop has always been a goal. So when local artist Jaime Byrd approached Phillips at the beginning of this year about opening a concept to accompany the building’s art studios, it was time to make the dream a reality. “My manager Dave Campbell and I looked at each other and were like, ‘let’s do that sandwich shop that we’ve been wanting to do for years,’” Phillips shared.

Besides being a spot for a quick bite, Black Cat Sandwich Company will serve as a place for patrons of the art studio to take a break with some food + bev before making a purchase.

inside Black Cat Sandwich Company

With equipment installed, the restaurant will soon start decorating.


Photo via Suzy Phillips

On the menu

You won’t find ordinary subs here. Taking a cue from simple Italian sandwiches, the menu will feature naturally cured meats like mortadella and speck, house-roasted beef and porchetta, and fresh cheeses like stracciatella and sharp provolone. Sammies will be topped with local produce and simple spreads on breads like house-baked fluffy focaccia, soft puccia, and thin + crispy schiacciata. In addition to sandwiches, a few soup and salad options will be available.

For the folks with a sweet tooth, Black Cat Sandwich Co. will offer tiramisu and panna cotta. A small menu of espresso and coffee drinks will be available with beans from Volcancito Coffee, as well as a selection of beer, wine, cocktails, and mocktails.

Eager to get a taste? Phillips hopes to open Black Cat Sandwich Company no later than August. Stay tuned for more delicious updates.
Wednesday, May 15
  • Candlelight Restorative Yin Yoga with Gong Bath | Wednesday, May 15 | 7-8 p.m. | Black Mountain Yoga, 116 Montreat Rd., Black Mountain | $9-$18 | This soothing, candlelit practice will relax your muscles and leave you feeling rested and rejuvenated.
  • Interstellar Song Contest | Wednesday, May 15 | 7:30-10 p.m. | LaZoom Room, 76 Biltmore Ave., Asheville | $10 | Musicians from across the galaxy will show off their talents — then, you’ll vote to crown the winner of the 668th Interstellar Song Contest.
Thursday, May 16
  • Third Act Happy Hour | Thursday, May 16 | 4-6 p.m. | River Arts District Brewing Company, 13 Mystery St., Asheville | Free | Join this climate action group formed by folks 60+ for food, beers, fun, and info about its mission.
  • A Night of Vegan Cooking | Thursday, May 16 | Times vary | AmeriHealth Caritas, 216 Asheland Ave., Asheville | Free | RSVP to elevate your culinary skills with nourishing plant-based, gluten-free recipes courtesy of The Foxy Chef.
Friday, May 17
  • Celebrating Bob Moog’s 90th Birthday | Friday, May 17 | 2-4 p.m. | Pack Memorial Library, 67 Haywood St., Asheville | Free | Michelle Moog-Koussa will give a presentation on the electronic music pioneer’s life before participants of all ages are invited to make some waves by playing synthesizers and theremins.
  • Downtown After 5 | Friday, May 17 | 5-9 p.m. | Downtown Asheville, 97 N. Lexington Ave., Asheville | Free | Jam out with Yacht Rock Schooner and Lazr Luvr, grab food and beverages, and check out the offerings from local makers.
Saturday, May 18
  • Jackson the Horse’s 50th Birthday Party | Saturday, May 18 | 2-6 p.m. | Hope for Horses, 828 Turkey Creek Rd., Leicester | Free | Join Hope for Horses equine sanctuary for a 50th birthday party for their beloved senior horse Jackson, plus live music, a cookout, local desserts, and activities for kids.*
Thursday, June 6
  • BMW Charity Pro-Am | Thursday, June 6-Sunday, June 9 | 6:45 a.m.-1:30 p.m. | Thornblade Club, 1275 Thornblade Blvd., Greer | Tickets vary | Presented by TD SYNNEX, this is the only golf tournament on the Korn Ferry Tour where amateurs and celebrities are grouped with professionals in a three-day competition over two golf courses. Start planning your trip to Greenville.*
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⚽ Bold, blue, and coming to a pitch near you
A group of players stand on the pitch, arms in the center of the circle.
Saturday’s game is also the women’s team head coaching debut for former ACSC player Brooke Bingham. | Photos courtesy Eakin Howard and Cameron Shook
It’s time to dig up those dusty vuvuzelas, because soccer season is back in Asheville.

Asheville City Soccer Club kicks off the 2024 season this month, and both its men’s and women’s teams are ready to bring the heat (or should we say cleat?).

🏆 Two teams to cheer for

The club’s teams compete in USL League Two and USL W. Both leagues are known for their exciting mix of local up-and-coming players + international talent, meaning any given match might feature future superstars in the making.

The women’s team debuts this Saturday, May 18, while the men’s squad — aka the reigning division champs — look to defend their title starting on Friday, May 24, with a home opener versus Southern Soccer Academy.

Whether you’re a die-hard soccer fan or looking for an action-filled evening, stop by Greenwood Field to cheer on Asheville’s finest footballers. Who knows? You may just find your new favorite way to spend a summer evening.
News Notes
  • Get ready to rock. Sly Grog Lounge is celebrating its reopening with three nights packed with local music, starting this Friday, May 17 through Sunday, May 19. Check out the 20 local acts on the bill, plus live screen printing from Grift Town Goods and food from Grush’s Cajun Dino Grill.
  • As Southside Community Farm faces displacement with the proposed construction of a new playground, Burial Beer Co. is matching donations up to $5,000 through today, May 15. Head to the South Slope taproom this evening from 5 to 7 p.m. to hear an update from the farm and learn how to support.
  • El Patio de Guajiro, the new bar and lounge from Guajiro Cuban Comfort Food, is now serving up beer, wine, cider, seltzer, and sake cocktails. Order from the bright red food truck, then take your goodies to the patio to enjoy with a bev.
  • This year’s Connect Beyond Festival will bring performances, panels, film screenings, and workshops surrounding the theme, “Connection To Deepen Resilience and Keep Moving Forward.” Check out the lineup for the June 7-9 festival, and get tickets for Saturday (Friday admission is free, and Sunday will be a community volunteer day).
  • Following the HVAC system failure in July of last year, Thomas Wolfe Auditorium opened at full capacity this March. The conversation of the venue’s renovation — or possibly a new site for an arts center — could continue soon. (Asheville Citizen-Times)
  • This one’s for the Swifties. Starting tomorrow, May 16, Asheville Music School is introducing a Taylor Swift guitar class, teaching students how to play her music and how to play in her style. Anyone ages 10+ is welcome to register for this beginner-friendly, five-week course.
Featured Home
  • Did you know you could finance your fixer-upper with home equity? You could get up to $50K with a HELOC — calculate your payment.*
  • Cornbread Hemp’s CBD Sleep Gummies are available in two strengths and made with high-quality USDA organic CBD extract. Get 30% off with code CBDSLEEP30.*
Findings of ArtsAVL’s Creative Spaces report
Aerial photo of River Arts District
The RAD hosts studios + galleries of hundreds of artists. | Photo by Fletching Drone Photography
In February, ArtsAVL began asking county-area artists and arts organizations to share the space-related challenges impacting their growth and development. The Creative Spaces report was released last week during a town hall where local leaders of the arts scene came together to discuss impacts and solutions.

Here are a few key findings:
  • 51% of respondents said they did not have access to affordable creative space (60% for respondents who did not identify as white).
  • 15% of Arts Professionals responding said they are no longer located in Buncombe County, with rising costs as their top reason for leaving.
  • The main contributors to rising rental rates for studio spaces are demand, maintenance, and increasing property taxes and insurance costs.
Find the full report, covering the cost of living, inventory of creative spaces, and case studies. It will be used to help ArtsAVL work with local leaders to draft initiatives to stabilize the county’s arts community and guide a 10-year plan for sustaining Buncombe County arts and culture, launching in mid-2025.
The Buy
Graduation gifts. Celebrate the end of the school year with graduation gifts for the recent grad in your life.
The Wrap
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From the editor
While it doesn’t appear that I share a birthday with any exciting celebs, I do share a birthday with Burger Bar, which is far more exciting in my book. This Friday, May 17, the dive bar is celebrating 65 years with punk rock bands and burgers from Bonham’s.
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