What’s being billed as Jacksonville’s first booze-free bar is opening Wednesday near Five Points.
Wildcrafters Tea & Kava Bar will feature a wide variety of non-alcoholic craft cocktails along with organic teas.
Owner Yhang Quintero told WJCT News the cocktails are made with botanical infusions that are also medicinal.
“What we’re trying to bring to the table here in the city is a place where you can hang out, feel and experience, the social part of – you know – entertainment, in a bar environment.”
Locally sourced ingredients will play a big role in what Quintero’s customers experience.
He’s collaborating with the North Florida School of Special Education for some ingredients.
“They have a farming program for their students and they also have a culinary program,” he said.
The business will also likely be a hit among botanical enthusiasts, as the establishment has about 70 plants on display, which are also for sale.
For now, Wildcrafters will be limited to serving drinks, but Quintero said he is talking with food truck owners and some local bakeries to offer food options soon.
Quintero got the idea for a kava bar after moving to Jacksonville in 2012. He talked to his yoga teacher, Tara Rawson, about the idea, and she in turn introduced him to Mark Salter, the owner of Thai restaurant Indochine Downtown.
Salter and Quintero then teamed up with Meaghan Leonard, the head bartender at Restaurant Orsay.
“She’s one of the best bartenders in town,” said Quintero. Leonard has experience making mocktails, which are non-alcoholic cocktails, he said.
Kayla Taylor, a holistic healer and tea expert, also signed onto the project.
"I hope to be a feel good vibe, a place where maybe you don't necessarily want to go out but maybe you feel a little sad and you're at home and you say, 'Hey, I want to go to Wildcrafters to feel better,'" said Quintero.
Wildcrafters will officially open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Wednesday, Jan. 8. The bar will then close for a few hours and reopen from 7 p.m. to midnight for a grand opening party.
Located just south of Five Points at 2105 Park St., the booze-free bar’s regular hours will be Wednesdays through Mondays from 10 a.m. to midnight.
Additional information about the new venture is on the Wildcrafter’s Facebook page.