Small bites: Ole Shakey’s, local brewers host mini golf for charity

FORE: Ole Shakey's co-owners Morgan Hickory and Charlie Hodge take a break from a recent round of mini golf. The course is open through Saturday, June 10. Photo by Thomas Calder

Here’s a riddle for you: What has nine holes and takes eight breweries and a bar to build? If you answered the new miniature golf course at Ole Shakey’s, congrats! (And yes, we totally believe that you solved the riddle long before reading the headline and/or seeing the photo above).

Each hole, built by an individual brewery, represents a specific nonprofit organization. “It was a fun experience figuring out the layout and how to brand the hole while keeping it functional and working around the other brewery designs,” says Mark Conti, regional sales manager at Highland Brewing Co.

The course launched Saturday, April 15, with the first in a series of nine (one for each hole) weekly fundraising parties that benefit the designated organizations. The first party was sponsored by Pisgah Brewing Co. to support Arts for Life. The April 22 party was Hi-Wire Brewing for Big Brothers Big Sisters. The next party, on Saturday, April 29, will have Highland Brewing hosting for the Southern Appalachians Highland Conservancy.

Each party features food, music and beer specials. Proceeds from the first keg sold and all games played that day, as well as a portion of food sales, will benefit the day’s featured nonprofit. “We are serving our new seasonal, and like so many others it is named after a protected region in the WNC mountains — Big Briar Tart Raspberry Ale,” says Conti.

Other participating breweries and the nonprofits they represent include: Oskar Blues Brewery (CAN’d Aid Foundation — May 6); Twin Leaf Brewery (Appalachian Trail Conservancy — May 13); Wicked Weed Brewing (Eblen Charities — May 20); New Belgium Brewing Co. (The Recyclery — May 27); and Pabst Blue Ribbon (Foundation Skatepark — June 3).

“On the ninth week, we’ll be having a putt-putt competition,” says Ole Shakey’s co-owner Charlie Hodge. This final showdown on Saturday, June 9, is dubbed Rounds on the River and will feature representatives from all participating breweries and will benefit the Asheville Humane Society.

Morgan Hickory, another co-owner of Ole Shakey’s, notes that mini-golf play is not limited to the weekend events. “It’s available to play every hour that we’re open for nine weeks,” she says. Hickory adds that Ole Shakey’s offers a free limousine shuttle on Tuesdays, Fridays and Saturdays that picks up and drops off downtown or in West Asheville.

The course will not be a permanent fixture, but Hodge and Hickory are discussing the possibility of establishing an annual mini golf happening, with different breweries participating each year. They see it as part of the bar’s overall mission of being an adult getaway. “’Out of the way in a good way’ is our new slogan,” says Hodge. “When downtown gets absurd, [Ole Shakey’s] is the place for locals to come in, sit by the river and not worry about things.”

Ole Shakey’s is at 790 Riverside Drive and is open to ages 21 and older. Mini golf rounds cost $3 per person, or season tickets are $20. The limousine shuttle is available Tuesdays, Fridays and Saturdays; for service, text 767-2850. For more details, look for Ole Shakey’s on Facebook.

May Day Community Breakfast

The Asheville anarchist community will celebrate May Day with a vegetarian potluck breakfast on Monday, May 1, in the event space at Firestorm Books & Coffee. The gathering honors International Workers’ Day and the pre-Christian spring-to-summer transition celebration of Beltane. “At their intersection,” reads the event’s Facebook page, “we’ll create a dynamic space to collectively envision a world that honors both people and planet over profit.” Free workshops and other activities will follow the meal. The event is open to the public; attendees should bring vegetarian dishes to share.

The May Day Community Breakfast happens 10 a.m.-noon Monday, May 1, at Firestorm Books & Coffee, 610 Haywood Road. For a full schedule of events and other details, visit

Polynesian Dinner with Cruzan Rums

For a second year, Cucina 24 is hosting its Polynesian Dinner with Cruzan Rums. According to the event’s Facebook page, a four-course meal of classic Polynesian dishes will be prepared by Cucina 24 chef Brian Canipelli. Along with the dinner, bartender Donnie Pratt will offer a number of Polynesian-themed cocktails.

The dinner runs 7-10 p.m. Tuesday, May 2, at Cucina 24, 24 Wall St. Tickets are $50 and do not include tax and gratuity. Seating is limited. To make reservations, call 828-254-6170. 

A Taste of France

A Taste of France will be the first in a series of cider tastings hosted by Noble Cider. The event will showcase “artisan ciders from around the world, paired with delicious local food,” says Lief Stevens, head of production at Noble Cider. OWL Bakery will participate in the series opener, providing freshly baked French bread. Looking Glass Creamery will also be involved in the initial event. According to Ashely Loakimedes of Looking Glass Creamery, guests can anticipate “a wide spectrum of flavors, from fresh and creamy to funky and pungent.”

A Taste of France begins at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, May 2, at The Noble Cider Taproom, 356 New Leicester Highway. Tickets are $30 and are available at

Dining Out for Life

Over 100 WNC restaurants will donate 20 percent of their gross sales on Thursday, April 27, to the Western North Carolina AIDS Project, as part of the 15th annual Dining Out for Life. According to the fundraiser’s homepage, last year saw over $160,000 raised. These donations support WNCAP’s efforts to support, educate and advocate for those affected by HIV/AIDS.

Dining Out for Life takes place Thursday, April 27. Visit for a list of participating restaurants.

May fundraisers at Native Kitchen & Social Pub

Native Kitchen & Social Pub will host a series of fundraisers on select Wednesdays in May. Organizations to be supported include Camp Lakey Gap, a weeklong residential camp for people with autism (May 3); ArtSpace Charter School (May 17); and Zipping for Autism (May 31). For each fundraiser, Native will donate 20 percent of its daily food proceeds to that day’s designated organization.

Native Kitchen & Social Pub is at 204 Whitson Ave., Swannanoa. For hours and other details, visit


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About Thomas Calder
Thomas Calder received his MFA in Fiction from the University of Houston's Creative Writing Program. His writing has appeared in Gulf Coast, the Miracle Monocle, Juked and elsewhere. His debut novel, The Wind Under the Door, is now available.

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