Asheville Daily Planet
RSS Facebook
Coffee, tea or ... sex in W. AVL? 2 entrepreneurs’ posts of trysts trigger outrage
Monday, 05 October 2015 16:41

From Staff Reports

Waking Life Espresso on Sept. 17-18 temporarily closed its one location at 976 Haywood Road in West Asheville, following regular protests in front of the business, sparked by recent revelations that owners Jared Rutledge, 31,  and Jacob Owens, 27, boasted of sexual conquests of local women — including customers — via misogynist Internet posts and podcasts under a pseudonym.

The men have not been charged with a crime by Asheville police, but the mistreatment of the women with whom the duo were sexually involved has prompted wide condemnation as an affront to women in the community. 

The two men have since issued lengthy apologies, admitting to degrading the women in their postings. Some infuriated critics have even suggested the two men, both Asheville natives, leave the city permanently and at once.

In the aftermath, Mountain BizWorks, a local business support group, asked on Sept. 22 that the coffee shop return a loan intended to support the launch of a second location at 89 Patton Avenue, the former site of Artetude Gallery. Patrick Fitzsimmons, executive director of Mountain Bizworks, said the decision to terminate the agreement came without any trouble from the Waking Life owners, who also terminated their Patton Avenue lease. Fitzsimmons called the actions of the two men “deplorable.”

Also on Sept. 22, another nonprofit, Our VOICE, said it would reject any donations given to it by Waking Life. As the protests ramped up, Rutledge and Owens had offered to give proceeds from their business to help the local rape crisis center, which declined the offer because the center felt the two men were trying to buy redemption and questioned their sincerity.

Pokey LaFarge rocks Asheville
Monday, 05 October 2015 16:29

Pokey LaFarge, the most successful former Asheville busker, performed with his five-piece band and rocked a full-house audience at Grey Eagle Music Hall in Asheville on Sept. 18.

During the first set, he and his band played an extended version of his major hit, “Central Time.” After a brief break, he returned for a second set and performed a few songs solo. Then, his band joined him for the rest of the set.

After LaFarge and his group finished the show, the crowd clamored for an encore, so they returned to perform Bob Wills’ “Far Away” and Ray Charles’ “Let’s Go Get Stoned.”

Several years ago, after busking solo briefly and unsuccessfully in Asheville, LaFarge returned to St. Louis, where he eventually developed into a nationally known musical figure.

The group is thought to be “artfully dodgy ambassadors for old-time music, presenting and representing the glories of hot swing, early jazz and ragtime blues” and have “made riverboat chic cool again,” Stephen Thompson of NPR recently said.

The nickname “Pokey” reportedly was coined by LaFarge’s mother, who would scold him to hurry when he was a child.



contact | home

Copyright ©2005-2015 Star Fleet Communications

224 Broadway St., Asheville, NC 28801 | P.O. Box 8490, Asheville, NC 28814
phone (828) 252-6565 | fax (828) 252-6567

a Cube Creative Design site