August 15 2022
Asheville may be known as Dog City USA, but two new businesses are showcasing our city’s fabulous felines. Cat cafés Cats at Play + Cheshire Books & Cat Café are expected to open in town this fall, and Team AVL is as excited as a cat hopped up on catnip. Here’s what we know about Asheville’s first-ever cat cafés.
We'll take a latte, a muffin, and at least two kittens, please and thank you. I Photo via Cats at Play
First things first: what exactly is a cat café? Quite simply, they’re spots where you can enjoy a drink or snack — except you’re surrounded by furry friends who are free to roam, run, play, and nap. Cat cafés originated in the late 1990s in parts of Asia where renters weren’t allowed to own pets, and over the last few decades have “taken over the world.”
Here in Asheville, Cats at Play Café is taking up residence downtown at 12 Eagle St. The business will offer plenty of feline cuddles for visitors and work with local animal rescue groups (including Brother Wolf Animal Shelter) to serve as a foster home for 12-18 adoptable cats. The café will offer local beverages — including coffee, tea, beer + wine — alongside locally made baked goods. It will also feature a boutique space with cat-themed apparel, décor, and art.
Cheshire Books & Cat Café, which has yet to confirm a location, is making things twice as nice with its plans to set up shop in the 828. Hailing itself as an “introvert nirvana,” the 100% women-owned and operated business will feature adoptable cats, craft beverages, and gently used books. The business is currently crowdfunding to raise capital for its brick and mortar location. Want to help it come to fruition? Make a donation.
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- Drag Music Bingo | Fri., Aug. 5 | 7:30-9:30 p.m. | Highland Brewing Downtown, 56 Patton Ave. | Free | Dance the night away to this classic game hosted by local drag queen Bearded Lady Divine. 🎶
Brunch B’Yachad | Fri., Aug. 5 | 10:30-11:30 a.m. | Asheville JCC, 236 Charlotte St. | $5 | Enjoy mixing and mingling alongside a bagel brunch spread. 🥯
Ice Cream for Breakfast Day | Sat., Aug. 6 | 8 a.m.-12 p.m. | The Hop, 640 Merrimon Ave., Ste. 103 | Free | Skip the bacon + eggs and start the day with ice cream — plus, enjoy one dollar off all Jitterbug milkshakes and espresso floats. 🍨
Asheville Snuggle Party | Sat., Aug. 6 | 6:45-11 p.m. | 19 Mt. Vernon Cir. | Sliding scale | Remain clothed and get your basic need for human touch fulfilled at this non-sexual touch-based event.
- Sunday Summer Market | Sun., Aug. 7 | 2-6 p.m. | Asheville Dispensary, 919 Haywood Rd. | Free | Shop local, vintage, and handmade wares while enjoying live music. 🛍️
Summer Rooftop Pool Party | Sun., Aug. 7 | 2-6 p.m. | Aloft Asheville, 51 Biltmore Ave. | Free for Asheville Sport & Social Club members, $15 for non-members | Splish, splash, and have a blast with games, specialty cocktails, and giveaways. 🍹
Sundays on the River | Sun., Aug. 7 | 4-6 p.m. | Olivette Riverside Pavilion, 1069 Olivette Rd. | $25 | Experience acclaimed singer-songwriter Kyshona’s unique blend of roots, rock, R&B, and folk music. 🎤
- Community Fruit Tree Planting | Tues., Aug. 9 | 5-8 p.m. | Dr. John Wilson Community Garden, 99 White Pine Dr., Black Mountain | Free | Plant fruit trees and help grow community food access with volunteers from PubCorps. 🌳
- [title of show] | Now-Sun., Aug. 7 | 7:30 p.m. | Asheville Community Theatre, 35 E. Walnut St. | $15-30 | A fresh and funny meta-musical about its own making, [title of show] is a love letter to the magic and mess of creativity and collaboration. *
We have a monthly guide filled with events + activities you can plan for in advance. Click the button below to bookmark ideas for upcoming date nights, family outings, and time with friends.
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- 83º | Thunderstorms | 78% chance of rain
Ginger’s Revenge is expanding. The purveyors of alcoholic ginger beer are slated to open a 2,500-sqft second location at 32 Banks Ave. in the South Slope neighborhood. There’s no word on the opening date yet, but we’ll share as soon as we know more. 🍎
The Asheville Symphony will kick off its 2022-2023 season on Sun., Aug. 28 at 7 p.m. with the beloved Symphony in the Park concert at Pack Square Park. The free event will feature classical, pop, and movie music from Pirates of the Caribbean + The Sound of Music. See the full season’s lineup and programs. 🎻
Local mushroom artist Heather Brooks is teaming up with Asheville Mountain Kitchen on a foraging cooking class on Sat., Sept. 10 from 1-4 p.m. The class includes a 1.5 hour foraging tour, led by Heather, with a cooking class using found ingredients. Get tix. 🍄
The Transformation Celebration Gala & Auction, an annual fundraising event for Asheville Buncombe Community Christian Ministry, will take place Fri., Aug. 26 from 6:30-9:30 p.m. It will feature an auction with art + other experiences, and will take place both virtually and in-person. Register for bidding or purchase tickets here.
The Eliada team is looking for volunteers for its largest annual fundraising event, the Corn Maze. Beginning Fri., Sept. 30-Sun., Oct. 30, folks are needed for two hour shifts to maintain the maze, pick corn for corn cannons + more. Perks include snacks and refreshments. Sign up.
Asheville Regional Airport has opened a new cell phone lot. The purpose? To give folks picking up passengers a place to safely park and wait, since curbside waiting is prohibited. The airport has also added ~70 more public parking spaces to the Shuttle Lot in the same area.
Looking for inspo for your next backyard BBQ? Dry-aged steaks, spatchcocked chicken, and Kalbi short ribs from Chop Shop Butchery should enliven your tastebuds and summer fêtes. Get the recipes, courtesy of Edible Asheville. 🥩
The latest episode of “Sepia Tones: Exploring Black Appalachian Music” is now available on Great Smoky Mountains Association’s podcast “Smoky Mountain Air.” Tune in to learn about the Appalachian influences + inspirations that have shaped Grammy Award-winning singer, songwriter, and musician Dom Flemons’ neotraditional country music. 🎧
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’Tis the season for learning
The 2022-23 school year is weeks away. To help local students, teachers + schools, Eblen Charities kicks off its annual Tools for Schools drive on Wed., Aug. 10.
Kids need a lot of tools to succeed in school. I Photo via @eblencharities
The Eblen team will collect new school supplies from 7 a.m- 6:30 p.m. at the Ingles Market located at 151 Smokey Park Highway. Can’t make that time? No sweat: collection boxes for school supplies will be available at all Ingles Market locations across the county, as well as at other participating businesses.
Want to help out? See a list of needed items and the nonprofit’s Amazon wishlist. You can also make a donation. Eblen Charities will distribute the supplies to the public on Wed., August 24 at 52 Westgate Pkwy. Due to limited space and staffing, folks that want to attend are asked to register for an appointment.
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Editor's pick: As the proud mama of two rescue dogs, I am a dog person through and through — but I am also incredibly pumped for cat cafes. I plan to spend a lot of time there.
And while we're on the topic, what other sorts of cafes would you like to see here? Thinking back on my trip to Our Tiny Farm and its magical mini donkeys, I gotta say I would freak out from excitement for a mini donkey cafe.
Missed yesterday's newsletter? You're gonna wanna peep our list of must-have breakfast burritos, stat.
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