West Asheville residents refuel and refresh at Brew Pump

By Harrison Slaughter – jslaught@unca.edu – Sports Editor | April 8, 2015 |

The benches are crowded with people talking and laughing while their dogs play with one another. Others are playing corn hole while sipping their favorite beers. While many people would gather at a friend’s house to hang out on a sunny afternoon, these people choose to hang out behind a local gas station.

The Brew Pump is the hybrid gas station and bar that has the West Asheville crowd raving.

“It’s a very convenient place to drink. The guys are killer. The space out back is a gem that was uncovered after they did the remodel. I had no idea that the laundromat/gas station had such a sweet yard out back,” said Jason Holtzclaw, general contractor in Asheville. “I’ve watched the owner come through here and say how thrilled he is at all the young people, kids and dogs playing and having a good time.”

The Brew Pump was not always such a welcoming sight for people in West Asheville.

“Like most people, I shied away from this place when it had the laundromat because it didn’t look so well. I never did my laundry here, but I stopped in every once in a while to buy smokes or beer. When they did the remodel, it turned out really nice,” said Adam Grabowski, bartender at The Brew Pump.

Before the upgrades, it was a basic gas station, according to Mason Corn, Brew Pump manager.  He said they decided they wanted to make better use of the space available along the very popular Haywood Road area.

“We just had a gas station with a laundromat on the side and we decided we could make better use of that by redoing the backyard and putting in a small bar,” Corn said. “We wanted to give it that your-friends’-backyard kind of feel, for a good place for everyone to come hang out and bring their dogs and their kids. We really wanted to make better use of the space and just make it a pillar of the community.”

Not only are there good people and good beer, Corn said, there is also good food no matter the day, with a different food truck set up in the parking lot each night.

“We have a different food truck every night of the week that we like to bring in, so it’s kind of like having a rotating restaurant to fit every palate that’s different every night of the week,” Corn said.

According to Grabowski, there are several reasons community members choose The Brew Pump instead of other places in the area.

“The yard is a big attraction because you can bring your dogs out here and let your dogs run. You can bring your kids out here and let your kids run. As busy as Haywood Road can be, it’s kind of like a little oasis back here. You don’t really hear much of the street noise or anything like that,” Grabowski said. “We have cheap beer and excellent service. I had someone tell me yesterday, ‘This is where the bar sits for service in West Asheville.’ Bottom line, I think people come out here for the atmosphere and the excellent service.”

Most of the people who frequent The Brew Pump are local to the area, Grabowski said. It is within relatively close walking distance to anywhere in the West Asheville area, he said.

“We’re in a really good location. West Asheville is a really good walking neighborhood. No one really drives here. I would say that probably about 75 percent of the people that are here now, walked here. Everyone’s from the neighborhood so it’s a good neighborhood spot,” Grabowski said. “This is a very unique place. It is a bit of a novelty aspect, but how many gas station/bars are out there?”

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