Favorite Student Hangouts
Favorite Hangouts Through the Decades
Bix’s Tingle’s Café
Lord’s Drug Store
Biltmore Dairy Bar
Hot Shot Café
Buck’s Drive In
Wink’s Drive In
Steven’s Pub/Charlotte Street Bar & Grill
Edge O’ Town Waffle House (aka The Waf.)
El Chapala (aka El Chaps)
Asheville Pizza (aka The Brew & View)
Jack of the Woods
Anytime you bring two or more UNC Asheville alumni together, within 30 seconds the conversation will, without doubt, turn to “Do you remember when...” and inevitably, at the center of such a tale is a favorite college hangout. Since the earliest days of Buncombe County Junior College in the 1920s to UNC Asheville in the 21st century, each generation of students has elevated a special collection of Asheville eateries and watering holes to the level of official student hangout. These grounds often become so hallowed that graduates make annual pilgrimages to their doorsteps to pay homage to the “good ole days.”
What makes a place a hangout? What makes it “the” place to finds friends, classmates, as well as faculty, staff and alumni. Amazingly, there seems to be universal agreement on the subject. There are three key characteristics: cheap, but tasty, food; really cheap drinks; and great music. A hangout doesn’t have to have all three but it cannot have fewer than two. Those with all three seem to have survived the ages.
Recently, the UNC Asheville Alumni Association surveyed alumni about their favorite hangouts through A View from the Steps, the monthly e-newsletter for alumni and friends of the university. The resulting list was long but surprisingly consistent.
Though none are as old as the college (82 years), several, such as The Hot Shot Café or the Waffle House, have lasted several decades. A couple, especially Mitchell’s/Northside and Steven’s Pub/Charlotte Street Bar & Grill, have lasted for decades but have changed their name. Many like Tingle’s Café, 45 Cherry and Annabel’s, however, have been lost to the sands of time. Look through the list and see which ones you remember.