On Valentine’s Day weekend, the long-awaited Kava Lounge at 901 Divisadero quietly opened its doors; after taking a few days off, it will reopen again tomorrow. It's designed to be a showcase for kava, the alcohol- (and hangover-) free muscle relaxant and social stimulant that originates in Polynesia.
Owner Alva Kaple has been working on Kava Lounge for two years—he had originally hoped to open in late October 2014. He's concocted a wide range of herbal cocktails, including two types of kava (a house kava and a rotating flavor), a libido-enhancing tea known as damiana, kombucha, an aphrodisiac love potion, a stimulating elixir, a drink for when you’re under the weather, and a drink to uplift your spirits.
And that's just the beginning. “There will be more introduced later on in the herbal,” he said. “Let’s just say, the medicine men and women all across our state have taken notice and the world has brought us together, and that’s why things will continue to progress in the lounge and the menu until it’s fine-tuned and one of the best that you can possibly imagine.”
On the food side, Jillian Love, the founder of Bay Area Raw, has helped design the menu. “The food will be nutritious and tasty, with some sweets," Caple said. "The majority will be raw and vegan, but not all.”
However, the full menu will not be available this weekend. “I want people to try just the kava first,” Caple said, explaining that kava lounges typically don’t offer food. “[The menu's offerings] will be growing organically as it goes, and I’m coming up with some of the best that this planet can provide.”
The soft opening continues this weekend—on Thursday (starting at 5pm), Friday (4pm), and Saturday and Sunday (1pm), you can stop in and sample two drinks for the price of one.
There's no concrete date for the grand opening, but Caple said to expect many different events in the space once it’s in full swing. “There’ll be music, tastings, bellydancing.”