36. The Orange Peel
City: Asheville, NC
Address: 101 Biltmore Ave.
Coolest Feature: Its private club, Pulp, which displays a live feed of shows taking place on the main stage
Located in downtown Asheville, The Orange Peel is a shining jewel of the South. The building has a history as an epicenter for entertainment, as it served as the Skateland Rollerdome for over a decade beginning in 1950. Its origins as a concert venue began when it became home to several R&B and soul clubs, the most popular of which was (you guessed it) The Orange Peel. Early performers included The Commodores—imagine watching Lionel Richie & Co. croon their asses off during their early days, mutton chops and all.
After nearly three decades of vacancy, the spot reopened in 2002, bearing the same name as a tribute to the venue’s history. It quickly established itself as one of the best live music clubs in not only the South, but the entire country. In 2009, renovations increased its capacity to 1,100 and added a smoking deck to the club’s north side. Management also went the extra mile and added Pulp, a private club located on The Orange Peel’s lower level. Pulp compliments its full bar with an HD television that displays all shows taking place on the main stage above. The Orange Peel has a history of putting on new talent as well booking the legends, so everyone from Ice Cube to the most obscure acts have blessed the stage. The original managers would be damn proud.
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