Asheville, North Carolina's top LGBTQ-owned Businesses
Updated: May 26
Asheville, North Carolina’s progressive attitude, vibrant arts scene, and booming nightlife make this a welcoming city for the LGBTQ traveler. Here are some LGBTQ-owned businesses worth visiting during your next trip to Asheville!
Malaprops Bookstore: Founded in 1982, Malaprop’s Bookstore and Café is an independent bookstore aiming to nurture community through the joy of reading. Their book and gift collections are carefully curated and their café offers a variety of treats from local bakeries and locally roasted coffee.
Sovereign Remedies: Headed by Charlie Hodge, Sovereign Remedies is a hip multilevel bar serving craft cocktails and locally sourced American Fare.
Bodega on Broadway: A pandemic-pivot for bar and restaurant owner Charlie Hodge of Sovereign Remedies, Bodega on Broadway is a shift from Hodge’s latest bar venture, Asheville Beauty Academy. Hodge and Sovereign chef Bert Sheffield are offering charcuterie, sandwiches and vegetarian and vegan burritos alongside bodega staples and sundries. The former stage will soon be a Disco Deli with a portion of sales going to a local nonprofit supporting independent businesses during the COVID-19 crisis.
O. Henry’s: Established in 1976, O.Henry’s is the oldest gay bar in North Carolina. O.Henry’s continues to be home to a friendly, fun staff and is welcoming to locals and travelers alike. The front has a comfortable lodge-like look with a feel good, neighborhood bar vibe. O.Henry’s also houses an industrial-style dance bar in the back called “The Underground,” which hosts the popular "Total Gold Dance Your Ass Off” parties the first Friday of every month. Other special events include cabaret, burlesque and even goth nights.
Scandals Nightclub: Asheville’s iconic multi-floor dance hall with a full late of weekend drag shows. **Scandals closed during the pandemic and is opening June 4.
Asheville Bee Charmer: Dedicated to sharing their passion for honey and honeybees, Jillian and Kim opened their doors in downtown Asheville in 2014. Their shop is an Asheville staple, offering between 25-35 types of honey and a variety of raw honey infused with herbs, peppers and spices to create new flavors and experiences for their guests.
Bellagio: Art to Wear/Bellagio Everyday: Bellagio Art to Wear and Bellagio Everyday, founded by John Cram and Matt Chambers, are boutiques designed to authentically reflect the spirit of craftsmanship in Asheville. Bellagio Art to wear offers clothing and accessories that highlight local and regional artists as well as ethically sourced materials. Bellagio Everyday offers a more casual twist of curated, American-made and ethically sourced garments.
Blue Spiral 1: Blue Spiral opened in a defunct radio supply shop in 1990 with a vision for creating a home for many Asheville artists. Today, the gallery exhibits works by over 100 artists and object makers in addition to an extensive exhibition schedule. It offers a wide variety of tastes and aesthetics.
New Morning Gallery: Located in historic Biltmore Village, New Morning Gallery provides a collection of diverse and ever-changing American-made crafts. This gallery showcases “Art for Living,” handcrafted artwork you can have for your home and daily life.
1889 WhiteGate Inn: Located just outside of Downtown Asheville, 1889 WhiteGate Inn and Cottage is a AAA 4 Diamond property that provides the luxurious amenities of a boutique hotel with the charm of a Bed & Breakfast. The Inn offers a variety of amenities from lush gardens to an on-site Jacuzzi.
Firestorm Books & Coffee: Described as a queer, feminist collective, Firestorm Books features books and events that reflect the needs of marginalized communities in the South. While the bookstore is not open for walk-in traffic, they are open for pickups and the entrance to the store displays a fun animal mural.
Kaye Bentley’s Rooftop Bar Tours: After more than 40 years working for the U.S. Postal Service, Kaye Bentley opened Asheville Rooftop Bar Tours in 2018 with a passion for sharing Asheville and its history. On her tours you’ll experience three rooftop bars and get a birds-eye view of Asheville’s fascinating architecture while soaking in local history and sweeping Blue Ridge Mountain views.
Photos by ExploreAsheville.com via @melohdeezee. Mural by artist Gus Cutty.