What is a kava bar?

Tropical fruit kava bar drink

Kava bars are on the rise in the US, with new kava bars popping up all across the country. Kava bars are a great place to spend time with friends, relax, and enjoy your favorite kava. A kava bar can be a great alternative to traditional bars if you’re looking for an alternative to alcohol. Plus, kava can be a great way to wind down and round out the night before getting a good night’s sleep!

What are kava bars or kava “Nakamals” and where did they originate?

“Nakamals” are the original kava bars in the Pacific Islands. These were the original community meeting places in Vanuatu where locals would gather to drink kava. Nakamals have existed and been part of tradition in Vanuatu for over 1,000 years and have paved the way for the kava bars that we now see in the US. Traditionally, kava is the only drink served at a Nakamal or kava bar, and the bar is designed to offer a relaxing space for people to connect with one another on a spiritual level, similar to the way kava is used in Pacific Island ceremonies that honor marriages, visitors, and more.

Kava bars and the US

The path to booming kava bars in the US has not been straightforward. One of the country’s first kava bars opened in Boca Raton, Florida, in 2002. Kava bars started slowly popping up across the States after that, though the true boom didn’t start until the 2015 World Health Organization ruling that kava is safe to drink. Since then, kava bars have been cropping up all across the States from Florida to Washington state and everywhere in between. The trend seems to be continuing as more and more people are turning to kava and enjoying its benefits. As a result, kava bars are putting their stamp on today’s society.

What is it like at a kava bar?

Early and traditional kava bars center around a group of people gathering together in a shared space. Nowadays, kava bars vary wildly from simplistic and traditional to upscale, modern bars with a tropical vibe that give customers South Pacific vibes. Regardless of the aesthetic, though, kava is a drink that brings people together, and that sentiment is firmly at the heart of kava bar culture.

Kava is usually served in coconut bowls— or bilos— with low lighting and relaxing music. Kava bar menus will usually include different types of kava, often with varying potencies and tastes.

How do I find a kava bar near me?

The good news is that Kava bars are popping up all across the States now. You can find a kava bar near you using Kalm with Kava’s interactive map or by searching through our list by city and state. There are Kava bars just about everywhere, from LA to NYC to Montana. If there isn’t one by you just yet, keep an eye on the map and there may well be one coming to you soon. Kava bars are booming in the States!

If you love kava, heading to a kava bar can be a great option! Kava bars can offer you a space to relax, try new kavas, and to entwine yourself with kava culture. Kava comes with a strong culture and has a wonderful way of bringing people together, and both of those truly shine through at kava bars. Bula!

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