No visit to Boho West Asheville is complete without a stop at the “Buff Nick”, enjoy a chic craft beer in one of the few dog free bars on the Westside. Tuesday is trivia night, enjoy watching the finest minds in Asheville down cheap draft beer whilst outwitting themselves for your amusement. KIDS EAT FREE. So grab your hats and brats and head on down to The Buffalo Nickel.
Don’t take any wooden nickels” my Dad always said. If those wooden nickels could be traded in for whiskey drinks I’d do a lap dance. Other then the covetted Aldi cart quarter who even carries loose change anymore?
On a chilly spring evening your trusty Barfly and her wing women flew off to the gritty, rough and tumble section of Haywood road that is quickly becoming hipster hangout. The hippie skirts are being replaced by flannel shirts and skinny jeans. One place to watch the transition happen in real time is at The Buffalo Nickel, located at 747 Haywood Road.
Described as an American style Gastro-pub and craft cocktail hangout. Barfly’s initial impression? A mullet – business and class in the front, party in the back. Upon entry the layout is a bit polished and shiny. The decor is hip, not hippie, as in your wooden nickels are no good here but your bank card certainly is.
The bartenders are a handsome crew. Perfectly groomed and polished. Some may have come direct from their shift at Abercrombie and Fitch. The entire staff match the uptown rustic vibe of the Nickel perfectly. No required amount of flair on this crew. (thankfully!) The room for improvement comes with attentiveness. It takes a bit of of work to catch the barkeeps eye for a refill and the response is more aloof then alert. Remember I said last week to respect your bartenders? It is not that the Buff Nick barkeeps were rude, just absent. Barfly suggests a bit more attentiveness when the rocks glass is nothing but rocks. There wasn’t a crowd at the bar so this was especially frustrating for my bar crawl companion. The Nickel could also stand to stiffen those drinks just a tad, they were a bit weak compared to the surrounding pubs and bars we visited.
Please note your bill when you do cash out -the drink specials were not reflected in my bill and I was charged full price. I hope it was just a simple mistake but it was enough to raise an eyebrow. Attention to details and attentiveness gets a 2 on the barfly scale. If your customer is sober they will notice this infraction but after 4 or 5 vodka tonic specials who is still sober?
The best part of Buffalo Nickel is the relaxed, loft space upstairs. The vibe is “rustic retreat” or “trendy tavern” I LOVED the high ceilings and large beams. Buffalo Nickel really is a beautiful space especially the “Rumpus Room” as they call it. Free pool tables, TV’s everywhere, foosball, pin ball and more! It would be wonderful for them to consider inviting a local musician in from time to time as the background music was mostly classic rock the night I was there. This space is more a place to gather the buddies and watch the game, perhaps play a few rounds of pool or a game of trivia over a few pitchers of beer, but then I learned they don’t sell pitchers. They do however provide servers in the game room area. There are also a few relaxed seating areas upstairs to stretch out and throw back a few pints. No outdoor seating yet but rumor has it a deck is in the works, fingers crossed.
The chic ambiance, the fashionista staff, the uptown ecclectic menu and the lack of beer pitchers are what might prevent the Buffalo Nickel from being classified a true neighborhood sports bar, but what do I know? Maybe, (like everything else in town these days) the neighborhood sports bar is evolving in West Asheville? Truth be told I am kind of confused as to what the Buffalo Nickel is. The pub food selection is limited and disjointed. I liked the Pork Sliders, but I didn’t really understand anything else. The dinner menu while ecclectic and fun is a tad overwhelming. Perhaps this is a Brooklyn hipster pub for upwardly mobile rednecks? The jury is still out. Let’s eat and then decide. I really only came for the booze.
Buffalo Nickel Overall Rating– 3.5 Barflies