Forget the early bird specials and the 5:00pm happy hours. Going out in the summer is all about where you can stay out late. The best bars are the ones where the party goes strong all night—Or at least, until the bartender gives the shout for last call.
Western North Carolina is a hub of craft beverage activity. We have no fewer than 50 craft breweries in the region, creating some of the best beer, cider, and sake that this country has to offer. We also sustain a number of regional wineries and distilleries that add to the spirit of the industry (pun intended). And that doesn’t even take into account the bars and restaurants across WNC with expert mixologists ready to concoct a delicious cocktail tailored to your tastes.
With so many locations for liquid libations, how do you choose where to spend your evening out? Luckily, our agents have been known to responsibly enjoy a drink or two on occasion. We asked them: Where is the best spot in Western North Carolina to be for last call?
Photo by Wes Hight
Ginger’s Revenge in Asheville’s River Arts District is one of my favorite places to hang until last call. They offer a variety of light and refreshing alcoholic ginger beers and host local musicians regularly for live entertainment. Their lime agave is one of my personal favorite beer flavors in all of Asheville! They also have the Booty’s Meat Market food truck onsite to satisfy your late-night food cravings. Drop in and tell owners David and Cristina that Wes sent you!
I love having a drink that the Thirsty Monk in Biltmore Park! Besides having fantastic local brews, the atmosphere of having a drink at the outdoor tables is second to none. The pulse of Biltmore Park is energetic and fun. Also, when you have had your fill, there are plenty of other fantastic amenities right there!
I recommend Judge’s Riverside in Morganton. They have scenic outside seating overlooking the Catawba River! The live music is always a great local band, and it’s just a short drive from Asheville. Our whole family loves to spend summer weekends here—even the kids.
Rumbling Bald Resort on Lake Lure is a great place to spend last call. And if it’s really hot, take a dip in the lake and cool off!!
When it comes to late night spots in Asheville to grab delicious drinks and food, it doesn’t get any better than En La Calle. Tucked off the beaten path on Eagle Street, you will find a true gem. From the atmosphere to the cocktails and extensive mezcal and tequila selection, this spot has some of the best food this town has to offer.
I recommend Homeplace Beer Company in Burnsville. Located steps from the historic town square, Homeplace is a truly fitting name for this brewery, as everyone is treated like family. The owner, John Silver, made quite a name for himself in the Asheville Brewery scene, then came home to Yancey County to start this brewery.
I like to ring in last call at MG Road. It’s one of my favorite places to get either a nice cocktail or a cheap bottle of beer. The ambiance is unique, and on most weekends, you’ll find they have a dance party going until closing time.
—Anne Louise Bouchard, Marketing
Foggy Mountain Brewpub downtown on Church Street is my go-to for last call. They always have awesome local musicians playing and serve food late. Check out the wings, burgers, fries—and don’t miss the dog-friendly patio in the back. A cool “locals” spot, just off the beaten path.
Tressa’s Jazz and Blues in downtown Asheville is THE spot for live music and drinks in an intimate setting. Service is always great, and you can tuck into a table to watch the bands or get down on the dancefloor—whichever you’re in the mood for. If you enjoy anything from jazz and funk to blues and R&B, you have to check out Tressa’s!
Waffle House?? Smothered, covered, and chunked is the best way to top off the night! Sorry, but I had to!
Just opening this weekend in Hendersonville is my son’s new brewery, Triskelion Brewing, located on 7th Avenue and Grove Street. It is a brand new building, has air conditioning (which is very rare in downtown Hendersonville), and a private room upstairs that is available to rent. A biergarten with an outdoor stage is used for entertainment and during pretty weather months. The owner brews his own beer and has 12–15 taps presently.
Hillman’s Brewery is great for craft beers and hard cider. But the most fun is Tuesday Night Trivia to test your knowledge of random inconsequential facts.
There’s a great little new pub in Burnsville called Snap Dragon, named after the ship that Otway Burns, naval commander (and namesake of Burnsville) commandeered in the War of 1812. Snap Dragon was built by my husband, Randy Banks CBA Construction General Contractor, as an addition to the popular Garden Deli owned by Greg Yuziuk. It’s a nautical-themed hideaway in cool the palette of the mountains that makes you feel like you are on the coast. My favorite signature drink is the hurricane series. You can order a category 1–5. Five is so strong that the sugar cube is set aflame as it arrives to your table!
Snap Dragon in Burnsville | Photo by Donna Banks