A sign on the sidewalk proclaims, “Alcohol is so 2014” at New York City’s first kava bar, Kavasutra, in the East Village.
Kavasutra is a 10-seat bar that serves kava tea.
Kava is a beverage made from a root found in the Pacific Islands. It’s all natural and has been used for thousands of years.
Chopper, a manager of the five-bar chain, described the drink as having an “earthy taste” that numbs the mouth for a few seconds.
After 10 or 15 minutes, he said, drinkers relax and feel the stress release.
Its effects are similar to anti-anxiety, anti-depressant, muscle relaxer that doesn’t have any narcotic mind effects.
After downing the drink in a few gulps with the traditional slice of fresh pineapple and a toast of “boola” – you wait for the effects.
Chopper explained that kava is a healthier alternative to alcohol and drugs, and noted that it should not be mixed with alcohol.
“Kava is going to relax your body without altering your mind. So you can have great conversations. And it doesn't lower your inhibitions or impair you at all. It’s just is a way to kick back after work, relax meet some cool people and sleep great,” employee, Christopher Ludwig said.