Thirsty Monk

Barry Bialik




Photo by Lynne Harty

What is your favorite part of being a restaurant owner in Asheville?

Watching the people enjoying themselves and relaxing at our pubs, drinking our Thirsty Monk Brewery beers and snacking on our beer paired food snacks and dishes.

What is the background of your restaurant’s name?

Thirsty Monk was actually going to originally be an alternative music bar in Anchorage, AK back in the mid 90s. The original Monk logo was designed back then, though he appeared a little wilder and shaggier back in his 90s rendition (kind of like me!).

What ingredient could you not live without?

Our staff. Thirsty Monk people are our secret ingredient that go into every beer and every dish.

What is your favorite dish on your menu?

Our fish and chips, as they are very unique because we use Sunburst Trout. Part of our original goal when we opened our Biltmore Park location was to have one of the tastiest fish and chips in town.

What is your favorite dish from a fellow AIR restaurant’s menu?

The Eggplant Parmesan at Chiesa. Love that place- the atmosphere, the food, the people.

Why did you choose Asheville to open your restaurant?

The magic of Asheville drew me here 15 years ago after most of my adult life in the Pacific Northwest and Austin, TX. I refer to Asheville as the only West Coast style city on the East Coast.

What is your favorite chef’s tool?