Jack of the Wood

Jack of the Wood — Locally Sourced Pub Fare for Downtown Asheville
Local Expert's Rating:
4.5 / 5
The Bottom Line:

Individuals and couples alike are sure to enjoy a fun evening out at this cozy pub. Jack of the Wood is an Irish public house serving local craft beers and traditional Irish bar food that is locally sourced and homemade.

- The SmokyMountains.com Local Expert Team

Jack of the Wood opened in 1997 in Downtown Asheville, NC. As a public house or pub in the Irish style, Jack of the Wood started Green Man Brewing. Today you can purchase a rotating selection of locally made craft brews including Irish whiskeys. The pub also serves a limited but rich and tasty menu of Irish entrees and snacks.

You can get a sandwich or sample of the meats they roast in-house including house-made sausage. Jack of the Wood uses only regionally raised sources for ground beef, lamb, chicken, and pork. All of these meats are also antibiotic and hormone-free. In addition, the pub features vegetables grown locally and in season. All bread served at the pub is locally baked at City Bakery in Asheville.

As for quenching the North Carolina thirst, the pub currently shows 18 beers on tap. This is a wide range covering The Village Tart 7.5 percent ABV of tart cherry by Noble Cider of Asheville, HOPness Monster IPA of Catawba Brewing in Morganton, and the Green Man Brewery’s ESB an award-winning brew of Asheville.

The design of the pub is open and hall-like, inviting you to be friendly to your neighbors. When you visit, there is a welcoming and a bit eccentric vibe starting with the blue and orange decor the signage out front includes an image of the Bacchus or Dionysus and a vibe of debauchery. Comfortable seating at the bar or tables indoors or out to provide space for more people.

It is the perfect setting for hosting live music events as diners enjoy the food and drinks. Not too overly Irish, it is relaxed yet clean and definitely inviting.

Enjoy one of these classic or updated versions of your favorite Irish dishes at Jack of the Wood:

Guinness Stew
Bringing together the hearty texture of meaty mutton tips and the luxuriousness of Guinness style gravy is this Guinness Stew. The addition of flavorful mushrooms, onions, and celery are balanced by potatoes and carrots for a perfectly balanced meal. This is an Irish classic that will soothe the stomach and soul of anyone. Jack of the Wood serves this up bar side with a nice fresh glass of Guinness to boot.

Shepard’s Pie
As old as the hills, the shepherd’s pie is an Irish staple. Dating all the way back to the 1700s, a shepherd’s pie was once meant as a meal to stretch a dollar. Today the Jack of the Wood diners get to savor this or a shepherd’s pie made from chicken. The chicken pot pie features crispy, air-filled puff pastry atop a made from scratch mix. Ask the waiter about the best beer on tap to go with a serving of shepherd’s pie…or chicken pot pie.

Vegan Options
At Jack of the Wood, you can be a non-meat eater and still eat well. The pub caters to the vegetarian and vegan diets. As such, order the tempeh Reuben, which is a Reuben sandwich using tempeh, a type of soybean, as the main protein. The Reuben salad can also be transformed into a vegan version. At Jack of the Wood, there are Hempnut burgers on the menu. This is a vegan patty made from nuts that is served classic burger style.

Scotch Egg
The quintessential drinking snack of the Irish, and maybe Scottish, is the Scotch Egg. It’s an egg cooked in a coating of spicy sausage coated again in bread combs. You eat it with a side of mustard for dipping. It is a delectable treat to have after a festive evening or if you just want a literal bite of something.

Insider’s Tips:
-Jack of the Wood has live music playing every night including theme nights, such as bluegrass on Wednesdays or Celtic music nights.
-Although parking can be difficult in downtown Asheville, a good option is the metered lot close to the pub.