Parkside: Pack Tavern


We’re still waiting for the ruling regarding the sale of public parkland to a private developer, but Stewart Coleman is moving ahead with a new plan to turn the historic Hayes and Hopson building into a tavern featuring dozens of local brews. It’s a bit ironic that the pub will be called Pack Tavern, since George Pack’s gift of the parkland to the “public forever” was the pivotal fact in the Parkside controversy.

It sounds like a great idea to have a pub on the park, and I congratulate Mr. Coleman for making lemonade out of the lemons he grew.


“The Pack Tavern, as the new restaurant will be called, will open later this year and would add another chapter to the building’s colorful history.

The space would be named for George Pack, one of Asheville’s great benefactors, whose 1901 donation of downtown parkland played a role in a controversy more than a century later involving Coleman and his plans to erect a nine-story building next to City Hall.

Coleman bought a slice of the former City-County Plaza property from Buncombe County in 2006 and planned to tear down the Hayes & Hopson building and combine the two properties to build a condominium and retail project known as Parkside. A lawsuit blocked the project, but Coleman is appealing.

“We’ve got this lawsuit pending. We don’t know what the result of that will be” or exactly what the future holds for the Parkside project, Coleman said.

No matter how that lawsuit turns out, Coleman said the Hayes & Hopson renovation and the tavern are “a go. We have made the commitment to gut the building and build a restaurant and bar,” he said.”

Categories : Parkside


  1. greenasheville says:

    He should name it the S.O.B. Tavern. In other news, it looks like the Asheville Chamber of Commerce and the Asheville Ruling Class have been trying to pull stunts like this for over a hundred years. Just imagine what could have been:

    From Backpacker magazine, September 2009:

    “At the turn of the 20th century, great debates raged over what exactly should be preserved, discarded and constructed within a national park. Certain advocates for a Smokies Park, such as the Asheville Chamber of Commerce, pushed to build a great system of roads, including a skyline drive that would run the entire length of the range. If not for Benton MacKaye, a highway would undoubtedly exist where the AT now traverses quiet ridgetops. Fortunately the Tennessee forester and conservationist recruited his friend, Bob Marshall, then director of forestry for the Bureau of Indian Affairs, into an alliance that succeeded in squelching the idea of the skyline drive. What has been preserved is a remarkable stretch of the AT that runs along the Tennessee and North Carolina border, often hovering around 6,000 feet.”

  2. greenasheville says:

    I can only imagine the Asheville Chamber of Commerce and Ruling Class forcing out the natives of the GSMNP, paving the AT – as well as many other roads, massive clearcutting and condos. Not to say this wont happen when there’s nothing left to be developed in Buncombe proper…

  3. greenasheville says:

    oh and thanks for the censorship. I’ll be sure to return the favor on my City Council ballot…

  4. Gordon Smith says:

    The censorship? You lost me, greenie.

  5. barry says:

    A restaurant where Bill Stanley’s place used to be? Just to be safe, I’d avoid the coleslaw…

  6. barry says:

    Do I believe 100% that this is the end of this? I do not:

    ““We’ve got this lawsuit pending. We don’t know what the result of that will be” or exactly what the future holds for the Parkside project, Coleman said.”

    If the guy is truly giving up on building Parkside, why is he still going forward with his appeal on the Pack ruling? So he’s going for some feelgood PR, and a way to maybe make some money while his project is on hold… but if he really wants to put this to rest, why not officially and permanently return the parkland to the public?

    Waiting to be impressed..

  7. Gordon Smith says:

    Given the opportunity, Coleman would still defy the will of the people and block our city hall with Parkside condos, but unless the court overturns the previous decision, he’ll have to make do with a very cool tavern in a historic building on a refurbished park.

    AC-T today:

    Asked if putting a restaurant in the Hayes & Hopson, which had been slated for demolition, means the condo proposal is dead, Coleman responded: “That’s a darn tough question. I haven’t given up on that idea, it’s just this is plan B of a multitude of plans.”

  8. barry says:

    “I haven’t given up on that idea”.

    Whatta tool. This is enough for me to boycott his ‘tavern’ – he clearly still intends to tear it & the magnolia down & jam his butt ugly building into the park, if he prevails in Raleigh.

    He has the opportunity to do the right thing, & he wants credit for appearing to do the right thing, but if he gets a chance, he’ll still stick it to this city. Screw him & his lipstick.

  9. greenasheville says:

    I saw him on WLOS. He was trying to put on a good act, but you could tell he wasn’t being totally honest and open. He was obviously hiding something – trying to put on a front. I don’t think he ever looked directly at the camera or the reporter when he was talking. Coleman wouldn’t make a very good poker player…