Asheville Yacht Club

Asheville Yacht Club - Rock-n-Roll Tiki Bar in Downtown Asheville
Local Expert's Rating:
4 / 5
The Bottom Line:

North Carolina might have done away with the requisite membership fees for liquor haunts this year, but Ashville Yacht Club still feels like a membership bar -- if for a more alternative crowd. Go here for the underground rock and roll aesthetic and stay for the award-winning wings and sailing-themed drinks. 

- The Local Expert Team

You all probably know, without looking at a map, that Asheville, NC is not located on the ocean coast. It’s also not near any other sizable body of water in which a sailing yacht might be found. As such, the Asheville Yacht Club is not a sailing-type of club. It is a place to enjoy a good, lively atmosphere in an island-themed environment.

Located on Patton Avenue, just on the outskirts of Downtown Asheville, the Asheville Yacht Club is an unfussy bar that offers revelers a different type of atmosphere. The Asheville Yacht Club first opened its doors in 2007. Its aim was to set itself apart from the more commonly found swanky cocktail bars in the downtown area. They have succeeded as the Asheville Yacht Club is well-loved for being a dive bar with an island twist.

The exterior of the bar features large open windows overlooking a short patio with an extended but simple drink rail. Across the front of this metal drink rail is a large wooden painted cut of an octopus that, paired with the compass inserted in the bar’s monument sign above. It gives window shoppers an idea of what’s to come within.

The interior of the Asheville Yacht Club is somewhat dim with overhead lights only above an extended bar on one side and small table lights atop each of the decorated booths that line the opposite wall. Massive tiki statues buttress each of the bar booths and the walls are lined with local art. Asheville Yacht Club brands itself as the city’s only rock-n-roll tiki bar. You will see a lot of that alternative rock-and-roll aesthetic amidst the wall art. On weekend nights, there is also usually a live band within that rock and roll genre set up on the small stage in the back and serenading drinkers and diners.

Which, yes, this location does serve food. Sort of. The Asheville Yacht Club is best known for its specialty tiki drinks and rotating draft selection from local craft breweries. However, they also serve appetizers on Mondays and every other Thursday. Unholy Rollers Pop Up Sushi sets up to serve up some delicious sushi options.

When it comes to drinks and foods made by the bartenders and chefs at Asheville Yacht Club, favorite options include:

Ku’s Jalapeno Cucumber
This spicy drink comes with Espolon Blanco as the focal point. It includes agave, cut cucumber, and limes, served in a glass with jalapeno with chili-infused salt crushed along the rim.

Blackbeard’s Ghost
This pirate-themed cocktail features light rum, Bacardi Dark, Apricot Brandy, Velvet Falernum, and Angostura, all mixed together with chilled orange juice.

Kimchi Garlic Wings
Kimchi is a dish that historically comes from Korea. It features salted and fermented vegetables within a rich variety of seasonings like chili, ginger, and garlic and is usually served as a side dish. The Kimchi Garlic Wings at Asheville Yacht Club come as wet wings. They are marinated in a kimchi garlic sauce and served with a side of ranch. They truly are fantastic and have won some awards around town.

Insider Tips:
-We don’t recommend this bar if you are sensitive to cigarette smoke. At least not during crowded hours. This is because the bar has an expansive smoke section and attracts a clientele that likes smoking and you are apt to find that smoke wafting in. Especially during pretty days. On the other hand, if you are a cigarette or cigar smoker, then this bar has a set-up you’re apt to love.
-Downtown Asheville with its many bars and restaurants is a great place to do a little bar-hopping. The Asheville Yacht Club is a fantastic spot to either start or end your evening. Go early if you want to skip the loud music but do want a sweet tiki-themed drink in a punk rock atmosphere. Or, choose it to finish your night if you want a drink, show, and crowd as your evening send-off.