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Downtown Asheville's Newest Lounge

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6/30/2008 - Downtown Asheville's Newest Lounge
by Ashvegas.squarespace.com

The Rankin Vault plans to open in a week or so and will be downtown Asheville's newest lounge. It's situated on Rankin Avenue behind Table restaurant in the same building.

From what I could see, the space looks cozy and comfortable. And it has some neat history. The building used to house a mortgage company, and the space for the lounge used to be home to a giant vault.

Here's more from the Rankin Vault's blog:

The guys just signed the lease on the space yesterday (7 Rankin Ave - in the same building as Table). They will convert the space from its current form as an art gallery into an upscale cocktail lounge featuring seating (and a flat-screen TV) in the old 11' by 16' vault that was a part of the original owner's mortagage company.

Curious about the vault itself, I started doing some research on the original insurance company: Imperial Life Insurance Company. The building was built in 1925. Interestingly enough, one of the founders was the maternal grandfather of novelist and great patron of North Carolina arts and literature John Ehle. If you haven't read any of Ehle's novels about Western North Carolina, you are missing one of the greats. His novels clearly show he is a man who wrote ahead of his time.

But back to the building. It sits on the corner of College Street and Rankin Avenue, but back in the 1920s, College Street was actually called Government Street.

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