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‘You hear things through the grapevine,’ business owner reacts to ALE investigation next door

By Hannah Mackenzie

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    ASHEVILLE, North Carolina (WLOS) — Police lights illuminated the 1100 block of Tunnel Road on Wednesday night, Aug. 16.

According to an Alcohol Law Enforcement spokesperson, agents executed a search warrant with the assistance of Asheville police. ALE is North Carolina’s enforcement agency for alcohol, lottery and tobacco laws.

The target of the investigation was an unmarked building with covered windows and two security cameras in the back. The building is spilt in half and shares a wall with 5th Generation Pilates.

“I was in some ways surprised, but not surprised,” 5th Generation Pilates owner Kara Dillow said. “You know, you hear things through the grapevine. We’ve heard that some things have been going on.”

Dillow said a few nights a week, there is a steady flow of men frequenting the neighboring space. She was under the impression they smoked cigars, watched sports and drank bourbon.

“Some of my clients have expressed feeling uncomfortable because often there’s some, I don’t know the right word, I say skeevy-looking guys hanging out smoking, sometimes there have been some tussles happening,” Dillow said.

Thinking it was some sort of men’s club, Dillow said her dealings with patrons have been cordial; her main complaint: the cigar and cigarette smoke that seeped into her studio.

“I’ve had to cancel classes, clients have asked to leave, I’ve lost a couple of clients because of it,” Dillow said. “It’s not been fun.”

Now that the unknown business next door is under investigation, Dillow is hoping for a new (smokeless) neighboring business or even an expansion.

“I would be thrilled if I could actually move into the space, in addition to our current space, but there would have to be some serious renovations,” Dillow said. “A huge gut – and a redo!”

According to county records, the building is owned by Pegasus Holdings, LLC. News 13’s Hannah Mackenzie reached out to the registered company owner to inquire about who is leasing the half of the building now under investigation. She has not heard back.

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