GRAND OPENINGS: November 2019 Brings New Asheville Experiences
By Jason Tarr
November 2019 brings new Asheville experiences with several highly anticipated grand openings!
Be among the first to experience Asheville’s newest cultural offerings, including a reimagined art museum, an expanded craft center, a major exhibition, a brewery in a historic location and a new downtown Asheville hotel and dining destination.
As you explore, see how Asheville sparkles for the holidays and discover the top 8 places to see the lights in Asheville!
Here’s what’s new in Asheville, North Carolina in November 2019:
Asheville Art Museum
The Asheville Art Museum has reopened (officially November 14, 2019) after a three-year, $24-million renovation. The new state-of-the-art facility is 54,000 square feet and adds 70 percent more collection space. With the added space, the museum will be able to host major traveling exhibitions.
The new features include a rooftop terrace and café offering gorgeous mountain views. In the museum’s Collection Hall, you’ll find The Oculus, a 15-foot viewing window providing a unique city view. And, the Wells Fargo ArtPLAYce is a new hands-on creative space for families.
There are 10 new galleries in the museum that will host a variety of rotating exhibitions, including opening exhibition Appalachia Now! This juried display features 50 artists of diverse backgrounds from the region and provides a snapshot of contemporary Southern Appalachian culture.
The museum also offers programming including Early Bird Yoga (third Saturdays), Second Saturdays scavenger hunts and Artful Adventures kid-friendly tours (first Saturdays).
Museum admission is just $15. Hours for the Asheville Art Museum are 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily. It’s closed Tuesdays.
Insider Tip: The museum stays open until 9 p.m. on Thursdays – perfect for catching sunsets on the rooftop sculpture terrace while sipping a drink!
See our guide to Asheville's best museums!
Center for Craft
The historic 1912 building at 67 Broadway in downtown Asheville is the home of a new National Craft Innovation Hub that promotes the vitality of craft in the digital age. The expanded Center for Craft opens November 16, 2019 after a year of renovations.
With the expansion, the Center for Craft now encompasses an additional 7,000 square feet. The building is a destination itself as it will feature newly commissioned works both inside and outside. You can access free exhibitions seven days a week in the new Bresler Family Gallery and John Cram Partner Gallery. Among the opening exhibitions, is Craft Futures 2099, which takes on the ambitious question of how craft might look eighty years from now.
Beyond the gallery exhibitions, the Craft Research Fund Study Collection provides a trove of research more than 10 years in the making. And, there will be hands on activities for you to learn about craft.
The public grand reopening celebration is November 16 from 2-6 p.m. The Center for Craft galleries will be open seven days a week from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Exhibitions are always free and open to the public.
Downton Abbey: The Exhibition at Biltmore
An immersive exhibition featuring set recreations, costumes and exclusive multimedia from the hit show Downton Abbey opens at Biltmore November 8, 2019.
This exhibition gives you the chance to step inside the world of the global television phenomenon and the recently released (September 2019) feature film.
You may remember Biltmore hosting a Downton Abbey costume exhibition several years ago. But this new exhibition is a different experience entirely. Included in the exhibition will be never-before-seen multimedia elements along with the series' most recognizable sets and artifacts. Biltmore, America's largest home, provides a one-of-a-kind experience on the exhibition's U.S. tour.
The exhibition will be showcased in two areas at Biltmore (Amherst and Legacy), transporting you on an incredible journey through the grand world of Downton Abbey. The exhibition will not have any elements inside Biltmore House.
Through January 4, 2020, experience both the Downton Abbey exhibition and Christmas at Biltmore as part of your admission to the estate.
Kimpton Hotel Arras
Asheville’s tallest building has received an art-deco facelift transforming into the Kimpton Hotel Arras. The 128-room boutique hotel opened October 1, 2019 in what was the BB&T Bank Building in downtown Asheville.
The stunning rooms feature floor-to-ceiling windows to highlight views of the Blue Ridge Mountains. The hotel also provides a nod to the local arts experience, featuring one-of-a-kind commissioned pieces from nearly 20 area artisans. A unique amenity is the artisanal serenity cart, available upon guest request, which features everything from books by Asheville authors to lavender sachets and evening cordials.
Asheville restaurateurs Peter and Martha Pollay of local favorite Posana, are behind two independent restaurants adjacent to the Kimpton Hotel Arras. Bargello is a Mediterranean restaurant with international influences and District 42 offers craft cocktails and shareable bites.
Burial Beer Forestry Camp
A new brewery has opened in a historic Civilian Conservation Corps structure just outside of Biltmore Village. Experience the area’s rich history as you sip on beer by one of Asheville’s favorite local breweries.
Burial Beer has restored the building, constructed in the early 1900s, to now serve as a two-story bar and restaurant featuring an open mezzanine, rooftop and outdoor areas. James Beard Award nominated chef and owner of Cucina24, Brian Canipelli, will lead the restaurant.
The Forestry Camp property, then referred to as the Biltmore Shop, was initially operated by the U.S. Government to provide support to nearby Forest Service and Civilian Conservation Corps camps.
Burial worked hard to maintain original features such as yellow pine beams, cubbies with brass number plates, the trap doors and the coal chute. There is also a heavy focus on showcasing local, region and international makers including bakers, coffee roasters, wine makers, distillers, artists, musicians and chefs.
Burial Beer Forestry Camp is open Wednesday through Friday 5-11 p.m., Saturday and Sunday 10 a.m. to 11 p.m. and closed on Monday and Tuesday.
Photo credits: Top photo by Jason Tarr. Asheville Art Museum photo by David Huff. Photo of Downton Abbey: The Exhibition provided by The Biltmore Co. Exhibition is produced by Imagine Exhibitions, NBCUniversal International Studios, and Carnival. Hotel Arras photo provided by McKibbon Hospitality. Burial Forestry Camp photo by Spencer Kelly.