Maybe Barry Bialik, owner of the Thirsty Monk, should change the name of his bar — he’s expanding his business at a rate to quench any clergyman.
On Thursday, Aug. 15, Bialik announced a Woodfin Monk is in the works. He’ll open in a 2,700 square-foot space in the Reynolds Village development, kitty-corner to the YMCA.
He signed the lease this week, so the exact timeframe for the Woodfin project is still uncertain.
However, Bialik will open two related bars in September. The Biltmore Park Monk, which is something of a twin to the Woodfin location, will open by the end of that month. “Biltmore Park has created a walkable, downtown feel,” he says. “It’s a place you can park the car and do many things. … That’s what we’re trying to do in Reynolds Village.”
Just like the original, downtown Thirsty Monk, the Biltmore Park and Woodfin locations will offer a studied — although decidedly playful — approach to craft beer. Bialik doesn’t expect they’ll be late-night hangouts. “Even the downtown Monk ‘s not a super late-night thing,” he says. “We’re not a PBR and a shot of Jack kind of bar.”
In addition to a curated craft beer selection, the two new Monks will feature full kitchens with pub grub inspired by Bialik’s time living in the northwest (Alaska and Seattle, specifically). The new menu will be unveiled when Biltmore Park opens, he says.
In addition to the new locations, Bialik is expanding the original Monk with a third floor liquor bar, Top of the Monk. That project has been in the works for several years (at one point, Bialik thought of calling it Nuns on Top).
Biltmore Park will include a similar concept, Back of the Monk.
“We’re designing speakeasy, classic cocktail rooms,” Bialik says.
Top of the Monk will open in early September.
For more information about The Thirsty Monk, which also has a location in Gerber Village, visit monkpub.com.
Pictured: The downtown location of the Thirsty Monk. Photo by Max Cooper.