By Tommy Trib- Pack Square is not only located in the heart of downtown Asheville, North Carolina but it is also the heartbeat of downtown Asheville. Bordered by Broadway, Market and College Streets, the historic square is a beautiful, well-manicured 6.5 acres opened to the public for relaxation and enjoyment.
The area was named after Asheville philanthropist George W. Pack in 1903 following his donation of land to the county. There are three water features, a main stage and seating areas outlined by shrubs and native trees. The layout is also constructed with brick sidewalks and handsome statues of bronze pigs and turkeys directing a path.
Pack Square Conservancy spearheaded the 2000 redesign project which involved the elimination of several streets and the creation of Reuter Terrace and the Roger McGuire Green.
The Pack Square Park Pavilion is equipped with visitor information and public restrooms. Throughout the year, residents and visitors are treated to a jam packed calendar of events at this venue. Pack Square Park is surrounded by several history buildings includes an Art deco style City Hall.
Situated in the middle of Pack Square Park, inside the Hayes and Hopson building is a bustling watering hole named Pack Tavern. Built in 1907, the building is one of Asheville’s most noteworthy and historical landmarks. Perhaps it is only fitting that the popular pub is housed inside a building with a slightly checkered past, but operated in a similar business.
Legend has it that behind those steely doors of the basement is a passageway that once led to adjacent buildings. Why the need for secrecy? Well, aside from supplying lumber, auto parts and barbecue to the good citizens of Asheville, illegal liquor was also doled out to local scofflaws, thanks to this underground tunnel. After all, it was the Prohibition era.
Things are different today. Pack Tavern has a Parkside Outdoor Dining area, offering its patrons delicious meals and a chance to enjoy the fresh air in spaciousness with spectacular views of downtown Asheville and the Roger McGuire Green. Inside the tavern is a main dining room, the South Bar and event room. Sports fans will think they’ve landed in all-star heaven.
If watching the game on any one of the six HD TVs then perhaps you will enjoy playing a game of darts, shuffleboard or just listening to live bearific music. There is nothing square about Pack Square or its Tavern.