You’ve seen some pretty exciting places and things to do in the Carolinas. This week, Chris Bainbridge is taking a more relaxed approach. Asheville, North Carolina, is famous for marching to the beat of their own drum. This town pulses with music, from drum circles to busking, and from bluegrass to funk to country. It’s a place steeped in musical history. For all the music lovers out there, you don’t want to miss this next destination.
Citizen Vinyl may be a newcomer to the scene, but it’s a place as Asheville as they come. You can find this gem in the historic Asheville Citizen-Times newspaper building by the Grove Arcade downtown. It recently opened its doors in October of this year as Asheville’s first record manufacturer and vinyl bar. Yes, those black disks from days gone have returned, and in a big way.
Bainbridge recalls when he used to dance with his grandma to records dating back to the band days of World War II. Since then, the world has moved on to 8-tracks, cassette tapes, CDs, and now digital downloads and streaming. Despite the change in delivery, those records live on throughout the decades. How many of you remember your parents or grandparents jamming to old vinyl?
At Citizen Vinyl, these records are resurrected with record press and cutting operations to provide visitors with a glimpse into how they made music in the past. Inside the Session Café and Bar on the main level, you can view the manufacturing process through the windows. While you’re inside that bright, spacious dining room with soaring ceilings and glass brick windows, take time to indulge in coffee, lunch, dinner, and cocktails.
Upstairs, you’ll find Citizen Studios recording new music with a variety of artists. Who knows, you may rub socially distanced elbows with America’s next star recording artist. Just remember, you saw them here first.
For decades, Ingles Markets has been a proud proponent of the Asheville music scene, whether sponsoring music festivals, backing local concert series, or helping emerging artists like Lyric and Joe Lasher. Having a new venture like Citizen Vinyl in town further serves to make Asheville’s historic music landscape better. So, spend a weekend at this fantastic place. You’ll be glad you did.
To learn more about Ingles Market, visit their website at ingles-markets.com.