Small Bites: Asheville Negroni Week 2015

CHEERS TO COMMUNITY: More than a dozen Asheville cocktail bars and restaurants are participating in this year's Negroni Week to raise money for local charities. Photo courtesy of Jasper Adams

As with its restaurants, Asheville’s steadily evolving bar community is inclined to be collaborative. Local watering holes joined forces in March and April to raise money for area charities through the Bar Wars AVL craft cocktail event, and now they are at it again with their participation June 1-7 in Negroni Week 2015.

The annual initiative sponsored by Imbibe magazine and Campari challenges mixologists around the world to create variations on the classic negroni cocktail, a mix of equal parts gin, Campari and sweet vermouth with a twist of orange. A portion of the proceeds from each negroni sold at participating bars during the week is donated to a charity of each bar’s choosing.

Of the nearly 20 cocktail venues taking part in the effort this year throughout North Carolina, 13 are in Asheville. As an incentive to increase interest in the fundraiser, local bars have partnered to coordinate a passport and reward system. Anyone who visits at least two participating bars during Negroni Week will receive admission to a party at Tiger Mountain, 112 N. Lexington Ave., on Sunday, June 7.

BARFLIES: Pictured from left to right: Bartenders Katey Ryder of Sovereign Remedies, Jasper Adams of Imperial Life, Erin Hawley of MG Road and Sean Bickford of Tiger Mountain plan for Asheville Negroni Week 2015. Photo courtesy of  Jasper Adams
BARFLIES: Pictured from left to right: Bartenders Katey Ryder of Sovereign Remedies, Jasper Adams of Imperial Life, Erin Hawley of MG Road and Sean Bickford of Tiger Mountain plan for Asheville Negroni Week 2015. Photo courtesy of Jasper Adams

Event organizer and The Imperial Life bartender Jasper Adams says the shindig will feature free food and cocktails, raffles, games and more. In addition, anyone who manages to visit all of the bars on the passport will be entered into a drawing for a mystery prize. “We’re not announcing it yet,” says Adams in a press release, “but trust us, it will be very worthy.”

As of press time, participating bars and their charities are: Buffalo Nickel HOPE Women’s Cancer Center; The Bull & BeggarBrother Wolf Animal Rescue; The Crow and QuillAsheville Sustainable Restaurant Workforce; Cucina 24Open Doors of Asheville; The Imperial Life RiverLink; Lex 18 Youth Outright; MG RoadHaywood Street Respite; NightbellHaywood Street Downtown Congregation: Chefs Welcome Table; The SouthernMANNA FoodBank; Sovereign Remedies Asheville Community Theatre; Tiger Mountain Thirst ParlourOur VOICE; The Yacht Club Brother Wolf Animal Rescue; Top of the MonkWNC Green Building Council.

Visit a participating bar through Sunday, June 7, to pick up a passport and get your negroni. The Those who visit two participating bars can attend the closing party 1-4 p.m. Sunday, June 7 at 112 Lexington Ave. For more information, check out or email

Dough closes permanently

Effective Sunday, May 31, Merrimon Avenue’s Dough has closed. Owner Brian Ross originally announced that Dough’s market and bakery would close on May 25, but that he planned to expand its culinary education curriculum. However, a week later Ross announced that the whole business was closed. “It was our hope to keep the cooking classroom open despite the closing of the Market portion of Dough,” Ross said in a statement. “However, this is just not possible.” Scheduled classes are cancelled, and Dough is providing refunds for classes already paid for and gift certificate balances.

For details, email or visit

Great Harvest Bread Co. to open in South Asheville

As Dough closes its bakery, Asheville residents Kirk and Meridee Mucciarone and their son, Steven Mucciarone, get set to open one in South Asheville. The family plans to launch a franchise of the Montana-based Great Harvest Bread Co. by early fall in the Gerber Village shopping center. A press release says the bakery will offer scratch-made bread baked with stone-milled Montana wheat. Ingredients will contain no preservatives, additives or dough conditioners. The bakery will feature a rotating selection of specialty breads; fresh-ground oatmeal; pancake, cornbread and cookie mixes; granola; breadsticks; dog treats; cookies; and scones. A made-to-order sandwich menu will offer choices such as Baja chipotle turkey, Italian, three-seed veggie hummus, roast beef chimichurri and Big Sky chicken salad. Coffee from a local roaster will be available, and the restaurant will offer catering services.

The bakery will have a booth with free samples at the Chamber Challenge 5K run on Friday, June 5. The race begins at 4:20 p.m. at the Asheville Area Chamber of Commerce, 36 Montford Ave. Great Harvest Bread Co. will be at 1838 Hendersonville Road. For details, visit

Taproom at Monte’s Sub Shop

Dan and Monique Ruiz, the owners of Monte’s Sub Shop in Hendersonville, will debut a new beer-focused business, the Taproom at Monte’s, on Friday, June 5. The Taproom at Monte’s will feature rotating taps of local brews as well as craft beers from all over North America. Beers on tap for opening week will include 21st Amendment’s Hell or High Watermelon wheat, Deep River black IPA, Horny Goat chocolate-peanut butter porter and Pisgah Pale Ale. Beer will be sold by the pint, half-pour and flight. The full Monte’s Sub Shop menu will be available at the taproom, and there will be a late-night small-bites menu.

The Taproom at Monte’s is at 2024-H Asheville Highway, Hendersonville. It launches at noon Friday, June 5. Regular hours will be 4-9 p.m. Monday-Friday and noon-10 p.m. Saturday. For details, visit or look for “Taproom at Montes” on Facebook.

About Gina Smith
Gina Smith is the Mountain Xpress Food section editor and writer. She can be reached at

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2 thoughts on “Small Bites: Asheville Negroni Week 2015

  1. Ken newman

    Ken(70 years young) and wife looking for good upscale Asheville restaurants specializing in small
    Plates. Can you suggest? Thanks. We are here until 7/31.

    • Gina Smith

      Hello, Ken. There are so many! Curate is a local favorite serving Spanish tapas (small plates). Local Provisions, Chestnut, The Admiral, Ambrozia, Rhubarb and The Junction are just a few of the many others in town that offer a fine selection of small plates. The Mountain Xpress Eats & Drinks listings ( will be helpful in finding others. (Look at the categories on the right side of the screen to select what type of restaurant to search for.) Happy eating!

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