Bar Beat: Nova

Nova bartender Justin Crawford goes down the ranks of silver shakers like a field marshal, taking a moment to eyeball a cocktail ingredient before adding it to the mix. Cocktail culture, one drink at a time: A golden cucumber fizz, a mix of classic cocktail and current innovation, sits atop the bar at Nova, while […]

Bar Beat: Hannah Flanagan’s

Go into long-time downtown-Asheville mainstay Hannah Flanagan’s just after work gets out and you’ll find an interesting sight: an assortment of well-decorated beer pulls for brews from around the world, lining the bar. Natural friends: A pint of beer and a glass of Irish whiskey in front of the pulls for Hannah Flanagan’s impressive beer […]

Bar Beat: Curras Dom

Tequila has, among the uninitiated, acquired a bit of a bad reputation. This is supposedly the stuff college students glug in their rotgut days or that’s simply shoved into legions of frozen margaritas on Cinco de Mayo. Unexpected delight: One of Curras Dom’s masterly concoctions, the surprisingly smooth and pleasing avocado margarita. Photo by Jonathan […]

R.I.P. “Popcorn” Sutton

Marvin “Popcorn” Sutton, the legendary moonshiner, died March 16 at his home in Cocke County, Tenn. Photo by Michael Stock According to his wife, Sutton took his own life to avoid going to jail for 18 months under a looming incarcerations for moonshining and weapons charges. She found him dead of carbon-monoxide poisoning inside his […]

Bar Beat: The Thirsty Monk

It’s an interesting night to be at downtown beer den the Thirsty Monk: It’s Pint and Cask night, a team-up with Highland Brewing while debuting parts of the Monk’s new food menu. There’s a chef dishing out Salmon Sliders and goblets with roasted cashews. A cask of Highland’s new Black Mountain Bitter pale ale sits […]

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 […]

Bar Beat: Decades

It’s a week night at Decades, and the husband-and-wife house band, Southern Silk, are proving as smooth as their name, announcing Al Green’s classic “Let’s Stay Together” triumphantly as “our love song.” They hit all the notes just right—“Whether times are good or bad, happy or sad”—and rich electric-guitar riffs roll over the room. Photo […]

Bar Beat: Zambra

Entering Zambra, you could get the feeling that the place is the brainchild of a mad Spanish admirer of Captain Nemo. The light is low; the decor mixes classical arches and modern curves; old pipes, complete with pressure gauges, jut up from the winding bar. Given its location, running alongside Walnut Street and partially under […]

Bar Beat: Hangover helpers

If you drink, you’ve probably had a hangover one at some point. Even cautious and health-minded bar-goers will occasionally end up groggy and disheveled the next morning, feeling entirely out of place in the sunlit world. Everyone seems to have a different antidote for those woeful morning-afters, ranging from the simple to ornate. In addition […]

Bar Beat: Ruby’s

When you think “bar,” serene Haw Creek may not be the area of Asheville that first comes to mind. But local institution Ruby’s BBQ Shack has had a full bar since it got a liquor license at the beginning of this year. Photo by Jonathan Welch That makes Ruby’s a pretty versatile place, as the […]