Rocking the heart of downtown in just more than a year in business, Asheville Music Hall has made quite an impression on local music. Add the One Stop Deli downstairs, and you have a one-two punch of constant live music in one building.
While the Asheville Music Hall offers a variety of genres, it is recognized as one of the few places in town that offers hip-hop, electronic music, and jam bands on a regular basis. The venue isn’t hesitant, though, to offer up an act such as the acoustic guitar stylings of Kaki King, who appeared at AMH recently, or John McEuen, a founding member of the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band who performed last spring.
“We like all kind of music,” says Sam Katz, who operates AMH and One Stop Deli along with business partner Katherine Powell, who goes by KP. “We know that Asheville music enthusiasts have eclectic tastes, so we just try to bring in the best music we can. First and foremost, we’re music fans.” KP chimes in: “If we weren’t putting on the show, we’d be at the show.”
While they do enjoy all sorts of music, the excitement in their voices is more palpable when Sam and KP talk about past shows such as DJ Nu-Mark, Del the Funky Homosapien, Black Joe Lewis & the Honeybears, and Chali 2na. The two know that with their venues and tastes, they are developing a niche in the vast live music scene that is Asheville. AMH can hold about 360 people for a show, which is well-suited for many touring bands as well as some local acts with strong followings.
The One Stop Deli hosts smaller shows in addition to various series such as the songwriting contest known as The Brown Bag competition, Free Dead Fridays (an early, family-friendly show featuring a Grateful Dead cover band), weekend bluegrass brunches, Two for Tuesday (featuring two local bands or bands without an established Asheville following), and the Wednesday Soul Jazz Jam.
Besides the ability to double up on music, another advantage of the Asheville Music Hall/One Stop Deli combo is quality food while watching a show. “When people are out all evening taking in some music, they get hungry and want something more than just bar food,” KP says. “As concert goers, we know that from experience. The One Stop offers a lot of great food options.” The kitchen is open late on nights shows are going on upstairs, so patrons can easily head down for a full meal. The music from upstairs is piped in downstairs so you won’t miss a single song.
The One Stop has just increased its offerings to include homestyle dinner plates available between 5 – 9:30 p.m. Besides the usual soups, sandwiches, wings, and chicken tenders, you can now get meatloaf and mashed potatoes, loaded mac & cheese, Norwegian salmon with fried green tomatoes, or a soul food plate, among other delectable dinner delights. In addition, lunch is available Tuesdays through Saturdays with downtown delivery offered.
While both venues seem to be hitting their stride, Sam says they haven’t fully settled in yet. KP adds that every single thing is a learning experience. “It took us a year to learn how to book [the Asheville Music Hall] room,” she says. “We’ve learned a lot about staffing. We’ve learned about the challenges of the kitchen with things such as inventory, recipes, spoilage, and labor costs. But even the hard parts of running [these businesses], we like.”
Sam and KP were initially business partners in Geniass Productions, an artist management company that also handles booking and publicity for several artists. Establishing music and food venues seemed like a natural extension. One Stop Deli opened in the summer of 2011 while Asheville Music Hall opened just in time for Moogfest 2011. AMH has been a Moogfest venue the past two years.
Looking toward the future, the duo first thanks the Asheville community. “It’s been great to be in a place where people want to see us succeed,” Sam says. “We couldn’t ask for a more supportive community.” Otherwise, Sam and KP hope for continued growth. “I’d like to see all shows heavily attended,” Sam says. “I’d like go get our lunchtime food sales up,” KP adds.
The duo have worked hard to develop the business and would like for all of Asheville to know about them. “We’ve got some cool stuff going on here,” Sam says. “We invite everyone to stop by and check us out.”
For more information about Asheville Music Hall and the One Stop Deli, including locations, hours, event schedules, and menus, visit ashevillemusichall.com.