I am decidedly not a morning person. The shortlist of things which will pull me begrudgingly out of bed is very short, but it does include local, hot, fresh, just fried doughnuts. So, Saturday morning, I awoke before the dawn and walked directly to Hole.
Nestled right on the strip of uphill Haywood just above the River Arts District and Burger Bar but not quite to East-West Asheville spots Urban Orchard, Short Street Cakes, and Villagers is a tiny building with big potential. It is the home of Hole, a brand new doughnut shop with a simple but delicious plan to “serve up Fresh doughnuts and hot coffee.”
Co-owners Caroline Whatley and Kim Dryden have focused on the old-fashioned variety of fried convections, offering three flavors to choose from, all of which have sold out well before closing time through their first official week open. I opted for the Vanilla Glazed during my first visit, as I equated it to trying a new brewery’s IPA before anything else – start with the standard and work your way in.
If the last three days have been any indication of Hole’s already sterling reputation, their future seems bright even as the days get shorter and the mornings darker. The space feels cozy but not overly designed, with graphic, hand- painted signage by Tim Maddox at Mighty Fine Signs and lovely weathered wood on the walls of the main din ing room. Whatley and Dryden even thought to add an outdoor-indoor seating option inside their food-truck-cum-dining-car in the parking lot, which was decorated with a pitcher of what must be the last dahlias of the season and a tiny note inviting patrons to “dine in.” A warm spot to grab a cup of coffee, a quick doughnut, or sit outside and savor the last few nice days of the season, Hole is sure to welcome Asheville into fall in style.
Hole is open 7-1p, Thursday through Monday.