Here’s how you get to the greatest new bar in Asheville. Get on your bike and pedal out of downtown on Broadway, heading toward the river. You’re in your big gear because there’s traffic and it’s all a little bit downhill until you start climbing to Richmond Hill, a hundred acres of singletrack that looms over the French Broad. It’s tight and twisty and full of poison ivy this time of year, but two or three laps are mandatory during an in-town ride. Drop off Richmond Hill and head south along the river, stopping for a beer at New Belgium, then hit hobo singletrack that runs between the water and a steep slope of kudzu until you hit the proper greenway. Crank it in the big ring because the greatest new bar in Asheville closes at 8. It’s a 15-minute fast pedal, passing little kids on training wheels and roller skaters and college kids throwing Frisbees in the grass next to the greenway, until finally you’re there, leaning your bike against a bamboo fence post and ordering a beer at the greatest new bar in Asheville.
At least, that’s how I got to the bar this week on our regular Whiskey Wednesday group ride. It’s a container bar, dominating a sandy peninsula that sticks out into the French Broad River, surrounded by slow moving water. There are paddleboards and kayaks you can rent, and cornhole and a firepit and a shady nook stacked with hammocks. The beer is cold, the location is perfect, and right now, before the tourists discover it this summer, it’s quiet.
Getting home from the greatest new bar in Asheville is just as fun. Get back on your bike and pedal up Hominy Creek until you reach sandy singletrack that follows the stream through high grass before crossing pavement to find a forgotten piece of trail through even taller grass until it gets marshy. Keep pedaling. Along the way you’ll stop for a shot of whiskey. You’ll find yourself in a neighborhood just as it gets dark—climb past the pool until you’re at Upcountry, a brewery in West Asheville where a game of ping pong and a session IPA are mandatory. Pedal Haywood Road through “downtown” West Asheville (there are plenty of bars along the way if you’re thirsty), dropping back down to the river—hunched low and racing now, until you cross the river and start the climb back into downtown. Back to your starting point.
There are faster ways to get to the greatest new bar in Asheville. But that’s the route I recommend.