West Asheville is the Brooklyn of Asheville, and Asheville is really the Brooklyn of North Carolina, so you know West Asheville is laying it on thick: lots of artisanal everything, an overabundance of quirk for quirk’s sake, and no drink is safe from an added kombucha shot. I remember passing the window at Fleetwood’s that reads “Eat, Drink, Get Married” on my initial visit to West Asheville back in November 2019, and despite its hipster trimmings, being intrigued. I love a one-stop shop.
I thought for sure that the “get married” portion of the writing that adorns the plate glass window at Fleetwood’s was just there for the kitsch factor, but lo and behold, you can get get married there. Packages start at only $99.00, which includes room for up to 12 guests, unlimited cell phone pictures (!!!) and the ability to file your own marriage certificate. The offer a al carte additions too if you want to say, add a candelabra to your big day for the bargain price of $25.00.
Fleetwoods also charges $5.00 per Polaroid, which is a service they don’t just offer those getting married, but any patrons of their bar, which my friend Maura and took advantage of when we stopped in Fleetwoods a whole ten years back in February of this year. What’s $5.00 additional dollars when you’ve already spent $20.00 on drinks, $12.00 on records, and $70.00 on a fur stole of dubious origins, ya know?
One of my favorite places one-stop shops back home is Arlo’s, a countryside, well, compound that is made up of a tavern, general store, ice cream stand, gas station, and mini golf course. Fleetwood’s doesn’t offer all that, but does boast a bar, chapel, event space, and vintage store. Maybe now it’s making more sense why we were buying records, mink (fox?), Polaroids, and beer at somewhere you could also get married. Well, some sense. Maura drunk purchasing a stole is still somewhat mind boggling.
Fleetwood’s is one of those places that looks almost exactly how you picture it is, which is to say we felt like we were in a super kitschy country music video set, and I mean that as a compliment. I enjoy that it embraces the kitsch, and I’m not going to say anything definitive, as I only spent at most, forty minute inside, but I got the feeling that Fleetwoods doesn’t take itself too seriously. I’ve been to a few places in West Asheville that try so hard to be different that they become a parody of…something? You can’t be a parody if you’re in on the joke though, and I feel confident that any bar/vintage store/wedding chapel offering “Hot Hamm’s Shots” is very in on the joke…or simply has exquisite tastes.