Vincent's Ear

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Vincent's Ear was a small coffee house and bar in downtown Asheville, NC, that catered to some of the city's more noted local music groups.

The dream of owners Rick Morris, Joan Morris and Kristen Chambers, Vincent's Ear opened its doors in summer of 1992. The cafe catered to a late night, downtown-dwelling crowd, which was virtually non-existent in the area at that time. In addition to Jolt Cola, $1 "bottomless" cups of coffee and a reasonably-priced food and drink menu, the cafe and bar also featured live music.

Vincent's Ear was originally intended to serve as a jazz venue, but a loyal crowd of rockers and avant garde musicians soon made Vincent's Ear their home. Likewise, the walls of Vincent's Ear served as a de facto gallery for many local and regional artists who had trouble finding venues for edgier work in the crafts-oriented region of Western North Carolina. The cafe saw numerous ups and downs throughout the years, but was one of the few downtown-oriented businesses to survive the rapidly changing economic landscape of Asheville, which was becoming far more expensive and exclusive.

The thriving cafe was closed amid much local controversy in December 2004, when its lease was not renewed by landlord Dawn Lantzius. Many in the local media questioned whether Vincent's Ear was the most visible case of gentrification in the downtown Asheville business community.

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