Thousands of years from now historians will look back and see this is where it all started. The Great Kava Revolution spreading the soothing, calming, and relaxing effects that led to world peace and love. Well maybe not, but they will see that Grassroots was one of the first Kava houses in DTSP. Located at 957 Central Ave, Grassroots Kava House features 100% all natural products such as house made Kava, locally produced tea, coffee, and pastries.
Grassroots Kava House, Photo by Steve Ware
Hours of Operation:
Monday – Wednesday: 7:00 am – Midnight
Thursday – Friday: 7:00 am – 2:00 am
Saturday and Sunday : 8:00 am – 2:00 am
Grassroots Kava House is the brainchild of Kenn Hoyumpa and Wes Cardinal. Wes, a local and graduate of Gibbs High School, met Kenn at Bula Kafe where Kenn was the general manager. Kenn had opened one of the bay area’s first kava houses. He relocated here from Boca Raton where he helped opened the first Kava House in North America. Wes and Kenn decided to bring the kava experience to DTSP, an enterprise in their words that, “Blends island attitudes and urban comforts, we offer a space that encourages a friendly social experience and camaraderie for active, healthy people”. Grassroots is truly a communal gathering place, you will find friendly people from all walks of life at this house.
Kenn and Wes are big promoters of locally produced products, from the Mother Kombucha small batch tea to the local roaster Blind Tiger Coffee over 90% of their products are locally made. Furthermore all products are 100% natural. Wess, the mixologist, even has his own hydroponic herb garden featuring several types of mints and basils. He is a true artisan as he mixes fruits, spices and herbs creating new and exciting syrup recipes each week.
It is also important to Kenn and Wess to set a high professional standard, therefore one must be at least 18 years or older to consume kava or kratom. They also stress that it should not be mixed with alcohol or consumed while pregnant or nursing.
Kava, also known as piper methysticum, kava kava, and ‘awa, is a small shrub native to the islands in the South Pacific. The root and stems are made into a non-alcoholic, psychoactive beverage that has been used socially and ceremonially for hundreds of years in Hawaii, Fiji, and Tonga. This “tea” when consumed provides a soothing, calming, and relaxing feeling. It has additionally been shown to reduce anxiety, insomnia, stress and depression.
Kratom (Mitragyna speciosa) is a tropical evergreen tree in the coffee family that is native to Southeast Asia. There, it is traditionally chewed, in raw leaf form, by workers to stave off exhaustion, relieve pain and as a mood enhancer. It is used in folk medicine as a stimulant (at low doses), sedative (at high doses), recreational drug, pain killer, and treatment for opiate addiction.
Bringing Down The House
As the title suggest this is one cool kava house, built in 1926, Wes has transformed Grassroots into a hip cool relaxing work of art. The dramatic makeover and design was all Wes’s from the roll-up garage doors to the second-floor balcony which straddles the sidewalk. How Wes got the permit to cover the sidewalk is top secret.
The Kava House features natural wood, polished concrete floors and exposed ducting, with unique artwork on all walls. The first floor features the bar, comfortable seating areas and three computer stations. There are also power and usb ports at all bar-stools. The house is ready and waiting for anyone who wants a relaxing place to work.
The second floor features a community co-work space with a conference table and three additional seating areas. The large open space leads out to the balcony looking over Central Avenue and in the evening Yoga classes are offered several nights a week. Sunday’s feature Pranayama classes from 12 pm – 1 pm, Monday’s are Moving Meditations from 6:30 pm – 7:30 pm, and finally Thursdays feature Therapeutic yoga from 8 pm – 9 pm.
Historians may well look back on this as the start of the golden era of kava, so why don’t you go down to Grassroots and become a part of History?
While we have had a little fun with history, Grassroots Kava House is rooted in the cultural traditions of the south Pacific the true birthplace of Kava.
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