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But hidden behind steel doors in the basement lies a Hayes Hopson secret. These heavy doors open to a dark chamber that leads under South Spruce Street and once continued to adjacent buildings. The Hayes Hopson building has supplied lumber, auto parts, BBQ to Asheville but during the Prohibition years it supplied illegal liquor to local scofflaws (people who disobeyed the dry laws of the Volstead Act) via this underground passage.
The repeal of the Volstead Act in 1932 changed the laws in the early months of 1933 to allow the distribution and sale of alcohol. This new change made the Hayes Hopson building no longer needed for the vast distribution of the illegal whiskey through the Western North Carolina counties. Therefore the building needed to change its purpose and became a popular automotive and appliance center.
Packs Tavern initiated restoration efforts in the summer of 2009. Much care was taken to expose the original brick, original tongue and groove ceiling and wood trusses, and to uncover the 100-year-old flooring. Today, youll find a tavern beautifully restored to Prohibition-Era grandeur.
Packs Tavern offers outstanding service, the best drinks in town, and a large eclectic menu of over 60 items; everything from signature salads to hand-pattied burgers, from wonderful appetizers to fresh cut steaks and seafood in a friendly, hospitable atmosphere. All to be enjoyed in the middle of the hustle and bustle of Ashevilles newly renovated Pack Square Park.
What else separates Packs Tavern from other establishments is our unique variety of craft beer. We carefully pair beer styles with food items on the menu so you can experience the remarkable compatibility of food and beer. We rotate 30 or more local, national, and international craft beers to offer the best selection available. We have established partnerships with individual breweries and distributors that will allow us to debut new creations, feature limited quantity selections, and to make available the most sought after beers and breweries. We also offer carefully selected bottled beers that represent many styles and breweries around the world. Packs Taverns knowledgeable staff will introduce you to the fascinating world of craft beer and its inherent complement to a great meal.
Whether youre stopping by for a quick soup and sandwich at lunch, meeting with friends for dinner and drinks before you head out to the theater for the evening, or celebrating a special occasion with your family, youll find that Packs Tavern has something for everyone. Enjoy that Carolina-blue sky and downtown Ashevilles Pack Square Park in our outdoor parkside seating. Order take-out and gather with neighbors in the park for Shindig on the Green or the Fourth of July fireworks display. At Packs Tavern, youll experience the restored beauty of a downtown landmark while enjoying the finest in craft beer and delicious food in an atmosphere thats uniquely Asheville.
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