It’s elementary my dear Watson… If you serve beer and a bourbon for $7 the locals will caw caw for the Crow and Quill.
Yes, the mystery has been uncovered for sometime as to what lies behind the closed curtains and dark doors of a Lexington Ave storefront. My investigation of this already local favorite began at the invitation of a friend and photographer. She was displaying her works and hosting a fun burlesque striptease act as part of the celebration. As soon as I entered the room I felt transported to another time in history. I gazed around at the vintage sofas, woven rugs and dark wooden trim, old books, board games and a sense of older times.
Suddenly I started to desire a cigarette on a long stem. Perhaps I was sipping a cocktail whilst waiting for my steamer trunk to arrive from some exotic port. Maybe I was set to meet a tall dark stranger to exchange microfilm and dangerous flirtation. Or perhaps I watched way too much Fantasy Island as a young girl. Either way, mysteries abound at the Crow and Quill.
What is it about a place that transports you to another time, another genre in history, a place that turns you into a character in your favorite book? Maybe I have an overactive imagination. However, I work downtown and do not get away much so I appreciate the departure from reality.The night had a sense of magic about it. The air smelled oiled and polished. Spice permeated the room as laughter wafted throughout.
My friend led me to the bar which looked like a mix between a gold rush era saloon and a turn of the century science lab. The impeccably dressed bartenders yielded their pestle and mortar on fresh mint, lemon and basil. I was transfixed; the sensory overload was glorious. I hadn’t even tried a drink and this was already my favorite bar. I am not the only one who has quickly fallen like a maiden on a fainting couch for this place. A glance at their Facebook page shows the huge number of folks enamoured by this mint; this gem; this libation destination.
Every inch of the Crow and Quill offers a resting place for the eyes and a feast for the senses. A large antique birdcage, a wall of dried herbs and flowers, ornate mirrors and a sparking row upon glorious row of bourbon bottles and tincture viles.
I reached for my glass, the warm tingling rush of bourbon sealed the deal. It affected me so I asked the gentlemen seated across from me for a cigarette. Like magic an entire pack appeared before me (I do not even smoke). If you are into the typical Asheville woo woo way of thinking, you may accuse the Crow and Quill of existing on another dimension. An alternate reality if you will. This is the Hotel California and I never want to check out.
If you need to take in a bit of air venture out to the open courtyard. It is tiny, and feels like something out of an Edgar Allen Poe writing. This is a perfect spot to take in the moonlight, catch your bearings and ready yourself for round two at the bar.
If The Crow and Quill was a man I would be offering up my finest dowry to be wed to this place forever. Looking forward to my next great escape very soon!
– The Barfly