If you’ve ever ventured into the lively town of Asheville, North Carolina you have no doubt discovered this city loves to party, as evidenced by the scores of great beer gardens, pubs, wine bars and upscale cocktail lounges that dot its amazing cityscape. Besides being extremely safe and regularly patrolled by security and law enforcement, Downtown Asheville is a tremendous party locale, with innumerable nighttime haunts and a great crowd mix of college students, tourists and hard-working residents of the town just dying to let off some steam after a stress-plagued school or work week. At Pritchard Park, the hub of downtown Asheville, the weekend officially kicks off every Friday night at 6 PM, when the weekly Asheville Drum Circle gets the party started to a raucous beat.
In the following article we will profile several of the best and most popular bars in the city of Asheville, and describe the various features, amenities and activities that make each of these wonderful hotspots so amazingly loved by the Asheville faithful.
Ben’s Tune Up
Those who enjoy an outdoor drinking venue will feel right at home at Ben’s Tune Up, an (nearly entirely) outdoor bar and Ramen noodle eatery that was once an auto shop in town. Within the 3,500 square foot courtyard, guests of this rocking bar have their choice of any number of up-cycled seating options, including old truck seats, where patrons can regularly be seen sipping local craft beers and even sake, a rice-based wine that is brewed onsite at this fabulous pub.
Lexington Avenue Brewery
When downtown Asheville is really popping with excitement, it’s impossible to walk the sidewalks near the Lexington Avenue Brewery without being shuffled indoors by the always-happy crowd spilling outside. Known by locals as merely the “LAB,” this open-air brewery and bar tempts all the beer lovers traveling in and around the city of Asheville with its 16 taps and some of the most delectable fare, ranging from seared trout to Truffled Pommes Frites.
The centerpiece of the Lexington Avenue Brewery is the 92-foot, snake-like bar offering picturesque views of the pub’s brew house operations and a tremendous view of the street and the many people walking—or stumbling—by. In addition to the one-of-a-kind collection of great craft brews from across the country, the brewery is constantly serving up gastronomic treats that pay homage to southern and California cuisine, a mixture that consistently fills this pub and eatery to the brim on busy weekend nights.
What Asheville’s Sky Bar lacks in total space, it more than makes up for in amazing views, great drinks and scrumptious treats that are nearly impossible to put down. Access to this unique lounge comes via a ride up a rustic, old-time elevator, where a friendly attendant standing guard (don’t forget to tip) is eager to escort you up eight floors to the spot where the party is always raging. The Sky Bar features domestic and imported beers, craft brews, a terrific wine selection and every type of cocktail imaginable; and its small, yet crowded dance floor ensures every guest can shake off their weekly worries to the sounds of their favorite jams.
Although many drinking establishments may claim the title of “sports bar,” Asheville’s Fairview Tavern is one that actually makes good on that claim. This sports-themed hotspot features 11 big screen televisions scattered throughout the place, ensuring that every spot in the bar has a front row seat. NFL Football, Major League Baseball, the National Basketball Association and the National Hockey League are all front and center at the Fairview Tavern, as are sports such as soccer, golf, tennis and, of course, auto racing. No matter what the season, the big games are always shown live and in color on these big screen TVs and watched by dozens of the bars regular patrons.
The bartenders at the Fairview Tavern, who are always dressed neatly and casually, work hard to meet the surging demand for tap and bottled beer and some of the original cocktails found only here. The bar itself is enormous, able to accommodate over 30 patrons comfortably, and there is ample seating in the back for couples and larger groups.
In addition to the TVs and games, the Fairview Tavern offers plenty of other fun diversions, including pool tables, darts and more. The well-known spot is a favorite destination for locals, who are always happy to welcome newcomers. So if great drinks, games and a fired-up crowd is your idea of a good time, the Fairview Tavern is definitely for you.
MG Road Bar and Lounge
The old-style lounge seems to be disappearing from the American entertainment landscape and being replaced by loud pubs that cater mostly to today’s younger crowd. However, there is at least one bar in the city of Asheville that is staying true to its lounge-style roots, the MG Road Bar and Lounge.
Located in the heart of Asheville, the MG Road Bar and Lounge has become very popular among a certain cross-section of locals and tourists for its low lighting, comfortable seating and vintage décor, which work together to create a relaxed atmosphere in which winding down is never an issue.
The elliptically-shaped bar at the MG Road Bar and Lounge has ample seating on high-backed chairs. Here guests can order one of the bar’s original cocktail blends, a cold brew or choose a glass of vino from the extensive wine list. Beyond the bar, the room is decorated sparsely with soft seating options. These furnishings are arranged around a bandstand and dance floor area, where on certain nights live bands pack the bar with their original sound. Other times, music is always available on the state-of-the-art jukebox, which can literally pull up almost every song you can think of. If your ultimate goal is to relax and unwind, the MG Road Bar and Lounge is definitely the place for you.
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