If you’re strolling through Pack Square Park, a bright yellow 1932 Model B Ford keg truck sitting in front of a large brick building will more than likely catch your eye, and pique your curiosity. This establishment is Pack’s Tavern, and its “Juice Box” antique Ford has become one of the most photographed icons in Asheville.
The building is famous for being a moonshine distribution center during the Prohibition era. The basement has a secret tunnel (now sealed), that leads to the police department where illegal liquor was smuggled back and forth. Originally the Hayes and Hopson building, it was first built by a lumber company, and was once an auto parts store.
Currently the landmark restaurant, locally owned and operated by a family who was born and raised in Asheville, boasts a menu of over 60 items, plus more than 30 craft beers on rotation.
Late founder Stewart Coleman opened Pack's Tavern in April of 2010, originally planning to open a small neighborhood tavern. However, the beauty of the 1907 building as he started renovations led to Pack's becoming the large, lovingly restored restaurant, bar and event center that we all know today.
Of course, construction took longer than anticipated; finding the perfect menu niche and maintenance on a building built over a century ago all presented challenges. However, the extensive renovations were eventually completed.
Sadly, Stewart Coleman passed away in 2012, but the restaurant carries on his work and pays tribute to him.
“We continue to try to honor his legacy: doing things right, keeping the restaurant clean, making our guests feel welcome, and putting out hot, delicious food that would make him proud,” says marketing director, Mary Evans.
A large banquet room is on the second floor of the tavern, known as The Century Room. This event space has hosted hundreds of special events from countless date nights, dance parties, group dinners, engagements, weddings, receptions, corporate dinners both large and small, and supported many non-profit fundraisers and meetings. Pack's is most proud of being a founding partner with Food Connection, an organization committed to ending food waste and relieving food insecurity by rescuing perfectly good food and getting it to organizations who use it to feed those in need.