Our Purpose

Asheville’s First Eco-Vegan, Social Justice, Solidarity Bar

We believe Asheville is ready to support a unique, multicultural, progressive, vegan gathering spot for activists, artists, educators, community organizers, and others. Here we can come together to socialize, dream, and to create positive social change in Western North Carolina and beyond – over reasonably-priced sustainable wines, artisan beers, classic craft cocktails, and light, vegan, organic fare. THE BLOCK off biltmore functions as a local melting pot for people who thirst for a more just, inclusive, and peaceful world.

One special key to the success of this idea is the beautiful and historic YMI building and its neighborhood. Recognizing that the YMI and The Block are the heart and soul of the African-American community, our business celebrates, honors, and compliments the YMI’s cultural and social vision and the history of The Block.

By highlighting musicians, artists, authors, activists, thinkers, poets, filmmakers, students, dreamers, and others, THE BLOCK off biltmore’s regular events and welcoming atmosphere amplifies the mission of the YMI while acknowledging the significance of The Block. We welcome the opportunity to partner with the YMI for social and cultural events such as festivals, concerts, speaking engagements, book signings, drum circles, and more.

Using as our model the wildly successful and ever-expanding DC-based Busboys and Poets, a social justice concept restaurant and bar, THE BLOCK off biltmore’s goal is to help diversify Asheville and create a more unified community.

In order to help transform our local community, we actively work to hire minorities and support minority-owned businesses. We support the region’s nonprofits, for-profits, and other area stakeholders. Purchases focus on local, sustainable, Fair Trade, organic, environmentally-friendly, cruelty-free and pre-owned whenever possible. Green practices such as recycling, composting, sourcing local plant-based foods low on the food chain, and striving for zero waste are vitally important to our mission. In addition, we use LED & CFL light bulbs, green cleaning supplies, recycled paper, and serve spirits, wines, and beers from other businesses who are adhering to these same green practices.

Applying for B Corp status is a priority. Businesses with the B Corp certification are required to meet rigorous standards of social and environmental performance, financial accountability and transparency. It is our intention to care not only about the financial bottom line but to be just as concerned about our community’s well being and our environmental footprint – the triple bottom line.

Wondering why vegan?

As Asheville’s first vegan bar, we recognize diet choices are both personal and political and that not all of our friends/patrons are vegan. Our goal, though, is to provide a space where vegans and non-vegans can drink, eat, and be delighted by a variety of tasty options and never even notice the difference.

Additionally, THE BLOCK off biltmore is a “justice” experience that seeks to raise awareness on all issues in our society dealing with exploitation, oppression, suffering, and pain. While acknowledging that some topics will be controversial, we believe it is vital to stay true to the pillars of THE BLOCK off biltmore – equality, social justice, environmental preservation, and animal protection. Creating a vegan establishment promotes human rights, environmental protection, and animal rights. Click to learn more about why we choose to be a vegan bar.

THE BLOCK off biltmore, a destination for visionaries of all ages, ethnicities, and economic strata, is an idea whose time has come and the YMI building is the perfect place to manifest this community-driven endeavor. Our ultimate goal is to create a comfortable place and attract a wide-variety of diverse people united in myriad causes under the banner of peace, equality, and justice for all.