Thirsty Monk’s original downtown location had character built right in. Even in Asheville’s funky downtown, it’s hard to miss a corner building that’s painted bright purple. Both the upstairs bar and the downstairs Belgian bar have their quirks — the latter is literally in the basement — and the entire building has a comically low capacity. So when Thirsty Monk started opening new locations in strip malls and glossy “town centers” like Biltmore Park, it was unclear what parts of the formula would stay and what parts would fall by the wayside.
Chall Gray, the vice president at Thirsty Monk and the man behind the recent openings, seems to have made it a mission to change as little as possible when it comes to aesthetics. In Woodfin, that means when you walk in you’re greeted by a pub that feels like its been there a while, and one that departs dramatically from the new construction of the exterior. You’ll see lots of reclaimed wood (much of which happens to be from the future New Belgium site in the River Arts District), and of course you’ll see the iconic individual chalkboards for the beers.
The beer list itself seems tailor made for the location. If you live in Woodfin or Weaverville, Thirsty Monk saves you the trip into town to get a taste of Wicked Weed and Asheville Brewing Co. It carries at least one beer each from all the area’s future “big” brewers that you won’t see elsewhere this far north of Asheville proper. New Belgium’s La Folie was pouring as was Sierra Nevada’s Ovila Abbey Saison and Old Chub (on nitro) from Oskar Blues.
Of course, there are plenty of craft beers from farther afield as well. Boulevard, Left Hand, Allagash, Stone, Victory and plenty more were on tap at the soft opening.
The grand opening party, complete with the official ribbon cutting and plenty of Belgian beer, will be on Friday, May 23, starting at 5.30 p.m. The pub is open for business in the Reynolds Village development in Woodfin (around the corner from the YMCA) 4 p.m.-midnight Monday-Thursday, noon-2 a.m. on Friday and Saturday and noon-10 p.m. on Sunday.