401 Haywood Road

401 Haywood Road as it appears in 2023. Photo by Adam Coulter.

401 Haywood Road, current location of the WALK (West Asheville Lounge and Kitchen) restaurant, was constructed in the early 1920s. The one story brick building originally housed the West Asheville Garage. In 1930, it became the newest location of local grocery store “Jax Pax.”

One of three locations along Haywood Road and eight in Asheville, Jax Pax Grocery #8 occupied 401 Haywood Road from 1932-1950. This interior photo shows Jax Pax clerks, Walter Ruby, center front, with Mr. Harry Brown just past him, and in the meat department on the right side, Mr. Forrest Morgan and Eddie Evans.

On Sunday, February 2, 1930 Asheville Citizen announced, “The eighth unit of the Jax Pax chain will be opened the latter part of this week…located in West Asheville on Haywood Road at Michigan Avenue and … will be the largest and finest grocery store in Asheville.”

Beginning as a group of four independent grocery stores located throughout Asheville that focused on hiring local employees and selling local produce and grocery items, the Jax Pax company grew exponentially after Madison County brothers Plato and Cauley Ebbs, with business partner Tom Warren, a former employee of the Stokeley Brothers and Company of Newport, Tennessee, purchased the company on April 1, 1928. Under their collaboration, the company increased to twelve local stores in the Asheville area. Locations included Patton Avenue at South French Broad Avenue, 506 Merrimon Avenue, and 169 Charlotte Street, among others.

On Friday, February 7, 1930, the opening of the 401 Haywood Road Jax Pax grocery was a major event.

Asheville Mayor Gallatin Roberts, Tom Warren and the Ebbs brothers, and store manager Tom Moore were present with mayor Roberts officially opening the store. Prizes and souvenirs were given.

The Asheville Times. Feb. 6, 1930. p. 13.
The eighth Jax Pax Grocery store at 401 Haywood Road. Current location of the WALK restaurant in West Asheville. Photos show the 1940 remodel. The Asheville Citizen. March 26, 1940, p. 11.

After Jax Pax, the space was occupied by Little Super Market for a short time before becoming home to Chakales Hosiery Co. Sewing Room [1953-1955], followed by White & Williams Sheet Metal [1956-1966].

Originally published July 2016. Additional contributions by Adam Coulter, August 2023.