The Full Story
Picture walking into your favorite neighborhood bar on a Tuesday night - you’re meeting up with friends, or you’re finishing up a deadline with your favorite glass of wine…maybe you just need a night out to shake things up. You enter the bar, take in the low lighting and vintage couches and everyone enjoying the vinyl spinning.
They’re immersed in the unique experience of what only a “listening bar” can bring.
Welcome to Bottle Riot, Asheville’s first all-vinyl listening lounge. Inspired by the phenomenon that sprung up in 1950s Japan, listening bars are spaces with sophisticated audio equipment that play highly-curated vinyl records.
Owners Lauri & Barrett Nichols broke ground for what was formerly known as District Wine Bar in the original Wedge Studios in 2017, with the dream of making it a contemporary spot for locals and tourists to enjoy one-of-a-kind wines and hard-to-find European beers. Deeply rooted in the Asheville community for over 20 years, they’ve curated events like Asheville's very first wine and food festival, ActionFest Film Festival, Caring for Children-themed galas, and the Asheville Color Balls.
After rebranding itself as Bottle Riot in 2020, the space has evolved through the years. Paying tribute to the previous tenant, the late sculptor John Payne, the bar’s open architectural concept, industrial geometric chandeliers, and vintage, oversized velour couches provide a sexy, lounge-like atmosphere where everyone can meet up for a truly incredible experience. Special attention was given to every detail of the build-out, including using repurposed wood dating back to the 1800s from Old Crow Distillery to build out the bar.
Lauded as the first natural wine spot in the city, Bottle Riot wanted to celebrate family-owned wineries, winemakers, and brewers from around the globe. It was important for their products to be exceptional, with minimal intervention using sustainable, organic, and/ or biodynamic growing practices.
Having played a large role in the 90’s Asheville music scene, Lauri & Barrett are now looking to bring back some of that Old School flavor to Bottle Riot. Outfitted with a brand new state-of-the-art DJ booth & sound system, as well as two vintage turn tables ready to spin incredible vinyl collections, the bar is ready to bring an entirely new social listening experience to Asheville.
There’s a Bottle Riot Squad forming as well, with a roster of both established local DJs, as well as exciting up-and-comers. Think vinyl and rare ’45s on a hot summer night.
In a time where everyone is looking for a unique, new hangout, Bottle Riot strikes the balance on keeping the cool, neighborhood ambiance while introducing an entirely new vibe via going all-vinyl.