#87 of 112 Asheville Things To Do

Off the Wagon Dueling Piano Bar

Experience Engaging Entertainment at Off The Wagon Dueling Piano Bar
Staff Score:
4 / 5
The Bottom Line:

Off the Wagon Dueling Piano Bar offers an interesting twist on the classic bar entertainment to the beautiful community of Asheville, NC. Come in and enjoy fabulous drinks and some talented musicians as they play per request renditions of popular songs of the past 50 years. 

- The SmokyMountains.com Local Expert Team

For a once-in-a-lifetime experience, you won’t soon forget, visit the Off The Wagon Dueling Piano Bar in Asheville, NC. This entertainment establishment is primed and ready to offer you a crazy fun-filled evening that is different from the everyday bar experience. Let’s just say if you have never seen a dueling piano show, your visit to this location will be one for the memory books. The featured musicians who perform at Off the Wagon, which is incidentally a super clever name for a bar, will impress bar guests with their repertoire of thousands of songs, spanning the last 50 years. There is no set list, as the performances are an all-request show. This location is owned and operated by a veteran and local Benjamin Reese and Jess Mills, a native Texan with Las Vegas and New Orleans piano dueling experience. They had a combined goal of bringing superb entertainment and good times to the Asheville downtown scene. With their combined experience and passion within the industry, they decided it was time to open a dueling piano bar in Asheville that contained the best features of dueling bars throughout the country. This is of course while maintaining strong ties to the proud heritage of Asheville.

Interestingly enough, Off the Wagon is located on Asheville’s last brick-paved road and is housed in a historic building that was once the Asheville Chamber of Commerce, built in the early 1920s. Perhaps due to its historic location, it’s worth noting that a ghost investigation was conducted in March 2019, and evidence was found to confirm this location is haunted by numerous entities. One entity even has a drink named after him now that you can try, the Fearsome Frank. Don’t worry though, the Off The Wagon ghosts are the friendly sort!

 

The music that takes front and center during the dueling piano performance is often popular radio and upbeat hits from the last 50 years. The idea is to engage the audience, encouraging them to sing along with the tunes and have a great time. Songs are requested via tips and the songs will be played in the order of the tip amount. Therefore, guests who want to ensure their songs get played while they are in the bar should be generous with their song suggestion tips. If you never hear your song played, you can request your tip back.

Dueling pianos are a unique format that situates two pianos players facing each other and taking turns singing. In addition to this feature, which is notable and entertaining, Off the Wagon also serves some pretty great drinks. There is no food served on-site as the locale doesn’t have a kitchen. However, you can bring in any food from other pubs or restaurants and enjoy a drink and music. There is a cover charge on Friday and Saturday nights to get into the bar, which covers the costs of the dueling pianists along with any other acts that might be brought in for guest entertainment.

Liquor pours at Off The Wagon are 1.5 oz. Shots are 1.5 oz. Keep in mind, that the bar pours true doubles, so it’s 3 oz of liquor. Rocks pour is an additional 0.25 oz of liquor. The drink comes in 16 oz pints, wine in 6 oz glasses, and champagne in 4oz. Off the Wagon features community tables to encourage guest interaction with the show, customers, and piano players, creating an entertaining atmosphere. Be ready as at Off The Wagon, they self describe their establishment as unapologetically politically incorrect and is not a safe space. They poke fun at everything and everyone! If you love your visit to Off the Wagon, you can take home some merch from the bar or order online once you get back home to get some Off the Wagon swag.

Insider Tips:
-Since Off the Wagon doesn’t serve food and is defined as a bar, guests have to be at least 21 years of age to enter.
-Military discounts are given to current and retired military personnel including reservists and guard service. First responders are also given a discount.