Bar Beat: Scully’s

Scully’s is nestled just next to Chicken Alley, but the feel is quite different from the alternative cultures dotting Lexington Avenue.

Photo by Jonathan Welch

Come in here and you might well find the voices of local sports announcers booming through the place. During Bar Beat’s recent visit, three of them—from local ESPN radio 1310 AM—were sitting at a table in the back right next to the dart boards, discussing UNCA sports and the Asheville Tourists.

There are also TVs all around the place, resulting in a pervasive blue glow that makes for quite a contrast to the old wood of the bar. If you’re looking for clear conversation over drinks, it’s sometimes not the best environment (but there’s a quieter restaurant-style section adjoining the bar).

If, however, sports are your things—this is heaven. All the major games are on, with one television turned to CNN for good measure, just in case you’re more (or equally) interested in the president-elect’s latest announcement.

The drinks manage a good balance between price and presentation, with all of the specialty drinks running $6—on the low side for the heart of downtown. It’s a little past summer, but a mojito is still tasty, and Scully’s makes an impressive one—sweet and well-presented, with the mint muddled perfectly. It’s a rare find by this time of the year.

They’re also not afraid to mix the beer and liqueurs, something all too rarely done these days too. The Black Forest adds a shot of raspberry liqueur to a pint of Guinness. Purists (and they exist for Guinness like few other drinks) may be offended, but it’s quite delicious and takes full advantage of both flavors. On the whole, the drinks here are underrated gems.

The descriptions of the drinks are interestingly worded as well, with liberal use of exclamation points. The aforementioned Black Forest? “That’s just crazy! Dark and smooth and oh so sexy!” Another description goes: “The kind of drink you take home to your parents!”

Boo-yah! The lack of well-paying professional jobs in this city may be an abiding and oft-ignored social problem, but it does mean that an odd literary and poetic tint springs up in the least-expected places.

Scully’s is the kind of place that fills up fast as the night winds on, and the service (both at the bar and elsewhere) was prompt and effective, even as more and more people came in. And despite the noise, the crowd seemed friendly in its boisterousness. What’s more, there’s an ever-growing menu of excellent pub-style fare.
Scully’s is located at 13 W. Walnut St. For more information call 251-8880. Smoking allowed in part.

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