Descend into an unforgettable bar in Hendersonville, North Carolina.
By Bill Bauer
It wasn’t midnight nor dreary; we were pondering, but not weak and weary. My wife and I were wandering the streets of historic downtown Hendersonville, North Carolina, a bit thirsty and a tad hungry, looking for The Poe House. We had eaten dinner earlier; The Poe House was highly recommended for a nightcap. Following the arrow on the metal sign at the corner of Main and 1st Streets, we found it, much to our delight, one block down a narrow alley below street level.
Enter Hendersonville’s hidden watering hole through a red, glass and wooden door between a sketch of Edgar Allen Poe and a sign reading, “Welcome to the Poe House.” Its first impression is somewhere between a British Pub and a trendy wine bar; once inside it’s all Poe—Edgar Allan that is. (@21plusTravel Tip: In case you’ve forgotten, Edgar Allan Poe was an American writer, editor, and literary critic best known for his poetry and short stories, especially his tales of mystery and the macabre.)
My wife and I enter to find a musical duo wailing away on a stage, backed by a brick wall with Poe’s name, caricature and life dates embossed in black. Symbols and artifacts depicting his literary works are at every turn: The Poe House is the place to relax and sample a craft beer, sip a fine wine, and savor a small plate specialty—accompanied of course by a raven, a pendulum-like scythe, a poetic poster of Annabel Lee, and other Poe paraphernalia.
The Poe House may capture the dark and gloomy style of writing that is the renowned poet and writer’s signature, but the atmosphere is vibrant as owner and chef Derek Schuler, his partner Kimberlee Young, and eager-to-please waiters and bartenders keep a steady supply of beers, wines, and culinary delights coming while guests listen to live music several nights a week. A few stools at the bar, several tables and chairs, and a leather sofa highlight the main room where you can view the entertainment, while a separate seating area and a poet’s reading room are just around the corner for quiet conversation and enjoying libations. It matters not where you are, shades of Edgar Allen Poe are everywhere.
If it’s beer your tell-tale heart desires, The Poe House’s dozen draughts rotate to provide a roster of craft beers, ales, and stouts that renew if not evermore at least regularly. In addition to the standard 8- and 16-ounce pours, beer flights and specialty bottled and canned beers are also available—all accompanied by a handy menu with the size, location, and ABV for each selection. If your palate pendulum swings more to grape than malt and hops, the wine list showcases domestic and foreign varietals and blends, including Champagnes—with about 24 options available by the glass—as well as aperitifs and Sakes. Kimberlee is in charge of the wine list and as a certified sommelier is ready to suggest perfect pairings for Chef Derek’s gastronomic specialties. From simple plates like the rustic French baguette with olive oil and pesto to more elaborate fare like the smoked salmon platter, all food is prepared to order. The well-rounded menu also offers meat and cheese platters, hearty sandwiches including the London broil roast beef with havarti cheese, and several desserts. If you crave pizza, The Poe House partners with West First Wood Fired Pizza that will deliver to your table!
Open Monday thru Thursday from 4 to 10 p.m., and Friday and Saturday from Noon to Midnight, the Poe House is a great place to go before or after a show at the Flat Rock Playhouse or after a day exploring Hendersonville.
If you feel the need to get your Poe on, this is the place! In fact, whether you enter a lit fan or not, The Poe House will get you ‘Raven’ about the time you spent at it.
The Poe House
105 1st Ave West
Hendersonville, NC 28792
Odds of Encountering Children: Generally low and continue to improve (which to us of course means get closer to zero) the later into the evening hours you visit.
– Photos by Bill Bauer
Featured products, services and/or travel arrangements may have been complimentary in part or in full; this affords the research opportunity but does not sway opinion.