Date night at the Grove Arcade in Downtown Asheville

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Date nights can be few and far between for my husband and I, but I love knowing we can get a full Asheville experience and date night at the Grove Arcade. Schedule your outing for a weeknight to get the most out of your evening! 

Thanks to the Grove Arcade for collaborating on this post. As always, opinions are my own. 

I live less than five miles from downtown Asheville, and exploring my city is one of my favorite things to do when I have downtime. My husband and I try hard to schedule date nights throughout the year, and we recently met up with friends for a double date night at the Grove Arcade. (We’ve been trying to meet up with these friends for almost four years for a birthday celebration – it was long overdue!) 

Date night at the Grove Arcade in Asheville, NC

The thing about downtown is it’s so walkable. Our friends were able to walk from their home to the Grove Arcade to meet us for dinner. We decided to visit Modesto. While I did have reservations (you can make a reservation online or over the phone if you have special accommodations you want to make), it was easy to walk up and get a table on a Thursday night. We met just before 6, but by 7 it was pretty full. 

When I worked downtown, I used to go to Modesto for lunch. I loved a pesto pizza they once had – and it was always enough to share. I noticed dinner is a little bit of a different menu, but also delicious – and shareable! I love that the portions are generous. One of the last times I had dinner with a friend at Modesto, I ordered an appetizer (gnocchi) and it was more than enough for my meal.

Date night at the Grove Arcade - Modesto - Asheville, NC

We ordered calamari for an appetizer, but also had bread and pesto. Pesto might be one of my love languages. For dinner, I ordered a pizza (minus the olives) and it was enormous. We were all able to try it, and I had it for a couple more meals after that dinner. The others were in more of a seafood mood than I was, but again we shared. I think that’s the most fun thing about double date nights – sharing all of the food! There was plenty of scallops and shrimp to go around. 

Modesto has an extensive wine selection (and if you aren’t in the mood for a full meal, but still want wine, there’s a great wine bar on the corner of the Grove Arcade, Santé Wine Bar &Tap Room.) While the other three in my group had wine and local beer with dinner, I was holding out for the Battery Park Book Exchange and Champagne Bar

Desserts at Asheville's Book Exchange.

Oh yes. The Champagne Bar is one of my favorite places to relax, have a drink (their Bellini is one of my favorites) and try desserts from area bakeries. They offer a wide range of old books, and sitting areas throughout their space where you can read, relax or chat with old and new friends. 

We all picked out desserts to share (or bite sized cupcakes to eat and discuss amongst ourselves.) We spent more than an hour on one of their outdoor couches, and just enjoyed ourselves until just before closing. On that particular Thursday night they closed at 9, which wasn’t a problem since it was a school and work night for all of us. 

I’m thinking that weeknight date nights are going to be my new favorite. Downtown Asheville is a little less crowded, and parking is much easier. You can park on the streets for free after 6, and the parking garages are easier to get into. By the way, there is street parking around the Grove Arcade and the Wall Street parking garage is across the street – it’s fairly easy to park close by.

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