Wednesday, June 30, 2010

For Our Four-Legged Friends

Thursday July 1st from 6-8:30pm. The Hop and Animal Compassion Network are welcoming the start of July with our monthly Doggie Ice Cream Social! As always, 50% of sales during the event will be donated to ACN! Also, in addition to our original Happy Tails Doggie Ice Cream and regular attendees, we are featuring a new and special guest for the event. Audrey Kinsella, local author and dog-lover, will be debuting her new children's book, "Dingle: The Helpful Ice Cream Cone Delivery Dog"! This is one of the cutest books we've seen. Should be a blast.

Show your support and bring a can if you can for MANNA Food Bank!

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Professor WhizzPop! Recap

We had so much fun hosting Professor WhizzPop! on Tuesday 6/22! His hilarious performances are ideal for any crowd and any family audience. Here are a few photos from the show as well as a video. For more videos click here! Thanks to Professor WhizzPop! and to all who attended!

Professor WhizzPop! is also great for Birthday Parties and any family gatherings!

Sunday, June 20, 2010

The North Asheville Yu-gi-oh Council

Every Saturday at 4pm The North Asheville Yu-gi-oh! Council gets together at The Hop for duels, card swapping, and all out Yu-gi-oh! craziness. They are a devout and passionate yet welcoming group of young individuals intent on spreading the love of one of their favorite past-times.

Here is a blurb about the Council's founding members...

The North Asheville Yu-gi-oh! Council (NAYC) began meeting at The Hop in April 2010. Organized by Sandy 'Skull Dragon King' and Donner 'Thunder Bob', we invite all Yu-gi-oh! players 6-14, boys and girls, to weekly duels, challenges, and training in strategy. Don't forget to bring your cards - we always have trading time at the end! Don't have any Yu-gi-oh! cards? No problem! We supply temporary card sets and duel mats, and will show you how to play!

What are the three best things about the NAYC? According to Cori 'Earthbound Immortal Wiraqocha Rasca', "It's awesome, it's awesome, and it's awesome!"

Interested in joining NAYC? Simply show up on Saturday, ready your battle cards and enjoy! The Hop also grants 10% off purchases to any NAYC members and/or parents during their gathering! Yu-Gi-Oh!

Keowee Chamber Music Recap

It was a beautiful if warm day yesterday, perfect for Ice Cream and Family Entertainment. Thanks to Ashley and Keowee Chamber Music respectively for supplying both! Let it be known, another Keowee performance will take place at The Hop in the near future!

Here is a video from the event for your enjoyment! Thanks to everyone in attendence!

Friday, June 18, 2010

4 Free Events in 7 Days

After a bit of down time, which allowed us to take a short break and come up with a few new flavors (Chocolate Candied Bacon and fresh Palmetto Peach), The Hop is gearing up for a solid week of Free Family Entertainment. Here is this week's line-up!

Saturday, June 19th from 12-1pm, Keowee Chamber Music will be performing in store as part of their Summer Festival for the second year in a row! This extremely talented group of classically trained musicians are focused on introducing children and families alike to the wonderful world of Classical Music. This and all of our shows are Free to all!

Sunday, June 20th, all day, we will be hosting a Fundraiser for Brother Wolf Animal Rescue. 20% of the day's sales will be donated to one of Asheville's worthy no-kill animal advocacy organizations. Also, if you are looking to add another four-legged member to your crew, there will be a few animals up for adoption between 12 and 6pm!

Tuesday, June 22nd from 6:30-7:30pm, Professor WhizzPop! will be performing his wholly entertaining brand of magic! We had an excellent turnout in March, and expect his magical lure to bring about another stellar audience. If you had a blast at the Forty Fingers and a Missing Tooth show, you'll love this! Tuesday is Kids Eat Free night at Urban Burrito, too!

Saturday, June 26th from 3-4pm, The Jolly Balloon Smiths will be taking balloon twisting to the next level by incorporating original music and stories into their craft. Word on the street is they have even perfected The Jolly Balloon Smiths Theme Song! These guys are so artisticly inventive. We are very fortunate, in addition to their regular Friday night gigs from 7-9pm, to have them perform their music/balloon show at The Hop!

As always, for any of our events during The Hop's 2010 Summer Entertainment Series, bring a can if you can for MANNA Food Bank.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

The Garage at Biltmore Hosts Ashvegas Blues Fest

Many of you may already know about The Garage, an Asheville-owned all-ages music venue, which shares a builing with French Broad Brewery near Biltmore Village. You may have seen its space transform with time, seen local bands get their start there and climb in status. You may have gone as a family to one of their all-ages shows or community garage sales and hung out on beanbags or played together in the game room. And you may already understand the sense of community they are intent on inspiring in Asheville, both in their open atmosphere and support of deserving non-profit organizations. While The Garage has established itself as a place in Asheville for all people, families and friends alike, to jive as one, we at The Hop feel they are due some love and recognition for their veritable mission.

Also, The Garage will be hosting Ashevegas Blues Festival this weekend, June 12th and 13th kicking off at 7pm and 3pm respectively. The all-ages, families-welcome event is Asheville's first Big Blues festival and is being held to benefit five awesome local non-profits.

Thus, as a genuine "thank you" for what they do and an opporunity to offer information about The Garage to The Hop's fans, friends and followers, we conducted an interview with, co-owner, Jan Rogers and Ashvegas Blues. Hope you find it as inspiring as we did!

TheHop: Is the Garage strictly a music venue?

JanRogers: Live Music Venue is our primary function as we have a simple but great sounding room and hold a 300 capacity. However, we like to think of the Garage as a Community space and have been known to use the space for other functions too. Examples: The first Winter Warmer Beer Fest in January 2008, The first Push Asheville Fashion Show in March 2009, Ask Asheville’s free Social Media School in March 2010, the upcoming Pizza Wars in August 2010, Awesome parties including the Asheville Full Moon Gatherings (during winter months), Spoken Word gatherings such as ‘The Rising’, After Party’s where you can dance all night, lots of Benefits for non-profits, a few Community Garage Sales/Flea Markets, and we have also been known to serve as a host meeting place for meet-up groups.

We regularly sell local artists wares including but not limited to: paintings, photography, jewelry, clothing, oils and bath/massage products, and on many occasions have offered vending opportunities during shows for food, clothing, and glass vendors as well as paint live opportunities. When we first opened, we had a retail store where our game room currently is. After we put the game room in, we continued to sell retail clothing for a while: hippie sundresses, skirts, tank tops, t-shirts and men’s and women’s cargo shorts until Caffiend made the decision to resurrect their business inside of the Garage at Biltmore late last summer and space became limited and we liquidated the majority of our product. We do still have a limited selection of t-shirts available at an extremely discounted rate as they are picked over, but for the most part the retail fixtures have been put in storage until we meet a local designer that has an interest in vending at the Garage on a regular basis.

Last October, Caffiend resurrected inside the Garage at Biltmore and we attempted a 24 hour coffee shop business model for about 60 days until January 2010 — unfortunately, the business model was not a win/win for both of us and they later opted to re-open their shop in Marion. We wish them well with their new endeavor.

TH: There are so few in Asheville, what is the motivation behind all-ages shows?

JR: The kids motivate us — especially the younger musicians and their fans. They seem so genuinely happy to have a place to go that has a semi-adult atmosphere but yet will allow them to do their ‘thing’ their way.

The Garage has been an all-ages venue since it’s conception in 2007. Many of the people that have frequented the Garage over the years have families and we never wanted anyone to feel like they couldn’t come to a show because they couldn’t find a babysitter. Over the years we have hosted ‘Dance Camps’ for children of all ages and dance recitals as well as shows intended for kids. We host under 21 nights for the under 21 crowd regularly and showcase many bands that have members that are under 21 as part of our mix. Due to the nature of our hours, most events that we have cater to a later night time crowd though we do sometimes host day time and earlier evening/weekend events, we do our best not to compete during the open hours of neighboring businesses.

TH: Would you consider the Garage "family-friendly"?

JR: is something that all generations can appreciate. It is not uncommon to see three generations dancing and appreciating the music together inside our four walls.

TH: What can a 10 year old expect at one of your shows?

JR: Video games, pin ball and air that the kids of all ages have termed the ‘Avatar Tree’ with bean bags to lay on underneath, the under-construction ‘tree of life’ (as many have termed it) that distributes as much filtered water as they can drink, sodas and juices, and during specified kid shows we have also offered popsicles, root beer floats, grilled cheese sandwiches and/or hot dogs.

(In reality, both trees are installations for a local artist that has an organization called The Return of Free — she has a beautiful vision ‘with a purpose’) The kids see the art as they wish to see it and we can appreciate their version of what they see too.

TH: You are hosting the inagural Ashvegas Blues Festival. Where can one find information about the event?


JR: Listen for free tickets on 98.1 the River
Mountain Xpress advertisement

TH: I understand that the festival serves as a fundraiser for local non-profits. Which organizations are you supporting for the event and why?

AB: A portion of the proceeds will go to Habitat for Humanity, MANNA Food Bank, Mountain Housing Opportunities, The Southern Fried Blues Society and Brother Wolf Canine Rescue. We believe in giving back to our community.

JR: We do benefits regularly, usually for whatever cause is brought to our attention whether it be a local family that lost their belongings in a house fire, a fundraiser or food drive for a local non-profit or charter school, or global concerns such as the Haiti Relief effort. With the present economy the way that it is and the fact that we keep hearing that more and more funding for important services in our society are being cut — the question for us becomes why not? give back to the community if we can and in our business, the creative opportunities for how to give back are there as long as everyone participating is willing to do so and more often than not, they are.

TH: What else would you like folks to know about The Garage?

JR: Our musical selections are primarily all ‘original’ creations from the artists that we feature — rarely will you hear a cover tune played at the Garage. We focus on local musicians though we do often feature regional and national acts as headliners. Our primary form of advertising is social media and grassroots. We aren’t a “walk-by” venue per se — people come here because they are interested in the music that we are featuring or the event that we are hosting. We have a limited beer selection — usually 3 – 4 taps for local breweries along with what we have experienced to be our best selling bottle beers in the refrigerator (The selection changes depending on the music that we are featuring — Heavy Metal and Rock fans are Bud fans while Bluegrass and Funk are Brewery Fans, etc.). We feature all genre’s of music: from Christian rock to Heavy Metal, Country, Bluegrass, Rock, Soul, Funk, Reggae, Punk, Indie, New Age, World, R&B, Higher Conscious Hip Hop, all types of DJ’s — House, Trance, Drum & Bass, etc. We have been described as a very down-to-earth music venue and I think that fits us to a T. The Garage is simple, the space was literally a Garage when we started and will likely be again when we leave. Our walls are decorated with local artists work from paintings to photography and 95% of it is ‘for sale’. The shows and events determine our hours and the best way to know what we are doing is to follow us on twitter or facebook, check out our web-site or look in the fine print in the Mountain Xpress and on some occasions you will see us in feature articles or smart bets or hear about our shows on the radio. Typically, we have shows on Tuesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday, and sometimes Sunday. Our greatest joys have been watching the bands and events that got their start here outgrow us and move on to play bigger venues but yet still come back on occasion to play or patronize the house.

For the most part, the vibe that you experience at the Garage is a result of one man’s vision, Christopher Hart — my partner and friend of 7 years, though we have had much help and support along the way, he manifested a vision into a reality that in my humble opinion has done much for the music community in Asheville over the past three to four years. On normal nights, you will find him at the Garage’s sound board or working hands-on with the musicians as they get ready to play their show. As an observer, I would have to say that some of the most rewarding experiences have been watching others improve their skills and talents and succeed at what they set out to do.

TH: Awesome. Thank you so much for your time, and can't wait for the event!

The Garage at Biltmore:
101 Fairview Rd. Suite B, Asheville, NC 28803
(next to French Broad Brewery)

Total Soccer Camp Camper Drive

The Hop Ice Cream Cafe is sponsoring this year's Total Soccer Camps! (click this link for info)

Men's College ID Camp (Residential) June 17-20
Youth Academy Session I (Day) June 21-24
Junior Elite Camp: June 27-30

For their 18th year in a row, Steve and Michele Cornish, former Head Men's and Women's soccer coaches at UNC Asheville, will be running their excellent Total Soccer Camps. In support of such a healthy way for children to be active The Hop will be a hosting a camper drive with incentives.

Come by this Thursday June 10th from 3-7pm, sign up your child(ren) for Total Soccer Camps, and receive a Free $10 Gift Certificate to The Hop!

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Curtain Call Collective Recap

Thanks to everyone who attended the Curtain Call Collective show, Directed by Chris Martin, at The Hop Ice Cream Cafe! It was great crowd full of delightful silliness, best shown here with this video! The Asheville children's acting troupe will return for an encore performance July 20th from 6:30-7:30pm to celebrate the works of children's author, Judy Blume. Click here for the full list of Free Family Friendly events happening this Summer at The Hop!

Interested in your child(ren) becoming a part of Curtain Call Collective? Email Chris directly

Let's build this Asheville family-friendly community together!

Monday, June 7, 2010

Curtain Call Collective

Tuesday June 8th, 7-7:30pm at The Hop. Celebrate the works of Rudyard Kipling, author of "The Jungle Book", with acting, singing, improv, and more from Curtain Call Collective, local children's acting troupe. Directed by Chris Martin :)

Have children intersted in joining Curtain Call Collective? Contact Chris at

As always, the event is Free to all, Kids Eat Free at Urban Burrito on Tuesdays, and bring a can if you can for MANNA Food Bank!

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Wild For Life Demonstration

There was a great turnout at today's Wild For Life educational wild animal demonstration. Here are some pictures from the event. Videos also available on TheHopIceCream Youtube channel!

Thanks to Wild For Life for their demonstration. And thanks to our great customers for all of the support!!!

Friday, June 4, 2010

Wild For Life Day + Interview

Tomorrow, June 5th, The Hop is hosting Wild For Life Day. 20% of the day's sales will be donated back to this local Asheville center for wildlife rehabilitation. Also, from 3-4pm there will be an in-store demonstration featuring some of the non-profit's rescued animals!

In an attempt to better inform The Hop's customers about the organization, I conducted an interview with one of Wild For Life's founders, Susie Wright.

TheHop: Hey, Susie, can you tell us a little about Wild For Life?

SusieWright: Wild for Life is a non-profit organization in Asheville specializing in wildlife rehabilitation and environmental education. Our main goal is to rehabilitate wild animals and release them back to their natural habitats. Our second goal is to educate the public about wildlife, the environment and conservation.

TH: Where is your rehabilitation center located?

SW: Wild for Life is out in the Bent Creek area. We are not open to the public and need to be contacted before an injured animal is brought to us.

TH: What is the best way to contact you if an injured animal is found?

SW: Calling the facility is the best way to contact us. Our number is 665-4341. There is not always someone at the facility so you will most likely get the answering machine. We respond as best we can. Wild for Life is totally volunteer operated.

TH: How should someone respond if they find an injured wild animal?

SW: First of all, the rescuer should make sure they stay safe. Don't run out in front of a car, don't try to capture an injured bird of prey without gloves or a blanket or towel to throw over them. If you are not safe you can't help the animal.

Next, make sure the animal really needs help. You might have to watch it from a distance to be certain. Often, this time of year, well meaning people kidnap young fledgling songbirds that have come out of the nest and are learning to fly. Don't help an animal unless it really needs your help.

Each situation is different when an animal needs help, so you really have to respond to the situation.

TH: Is there anything else you would like people to know about Wild For Life?

SW: Wild for Life is an awesome organization. We are very unique. Many times people forget about the struggles wildlife endures and yet they always appreciate its beauty and wildness. Supporting Wild for Life is a way people can make a difference in their own wild backyard.

TH: The Wild For Life Demonstration at The Hop is at 3pm, what animals to you plan to bring?

SW: Right now, we are planning on a Barn Owl, a Screech Owl and a Broadwing Hawk. All of these birds are non-releasable educational animals. They have been through rehabilitation and have injuries that prevent them from being able to survive in the wild. We have special permits that allow us to keep these animals and have them as our ambassadors.

TH: Thank you so much for your time, Susie. See you tomorrow!

SW: Thank you.

We are really looking forward to this opportunity to support such a great organization. And as always, bring a can if you can for MANNA Food Bank. Hope to see you there!

Thursday, June 3, 2010

The Hop Mission Statement

The Hop Ice Cream Cafe has become and is a place for families and all people to hang out in a relaxed, comfortable atmosphere where you can feel like part of the unique Asheville community. We treat our customers to an overall experience of friendly service, great tasting products, and a distinctive environment that harbors fun, creativity and togetherness. Our philosophy... Who should be denied Homemade Ice Cream?!

The Hop 2010 Summer Entertainment Series

May has given way to June, which for The Hop means our 2010 Summer Entertainment Series is about half-way through. Around the corner we have some great FREE family-friendly events and fundraisers! We will keep you posted as each event approaches, like Today's Doggie Ice Cream Social to support Animal Compassion Network.

Also, The Hop would like to extend our sincere Thanks to Jan Trout of Trout Insurance, without whom the Entertainment Series would not have been possible. Also Jan Trout connected us with MANNA Food Bank to make all of this great community-oriented family fun even more community-centric!

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Doggie Ice Cream Social

This Thursday, 6/3/2010, from 6-8:30pm at The Hop we will be hosting the Summer's monthly Doggie Ice Cream Social to benefit Animal Compassion Network. 50% of sales during the event will be donated back to ACN! There will be pet-friendly booths with worthwhile information, an Animal Compassion Network table for donations and information, caricature artist Brian Vasilik, and doggies up for adoption. The Hop will also be serving Asheville's first ever homemade Happy Tails Doggie Ice Cream! Hope to see you there!!!