Elixir: a magical or medicinal potion. Elixir in Hollywood: 1) An entirely inclusive and welcoming non-alcoholic bar at 1820 Harrison Street; 2) a new Hollywood watering hole where both drinkers and non-drinkers can socialize in a relaxed environment without pressure; and 3) a provider of juices, smoothies, botanical teas, and kava and kratom drinks, all designed to relax the body and mind, help control pain, and provide a euphoric experience with no hangover the next day.
Kava and kratom are plants, native to Southeast Asia and the Pacific, where they have been used for hundreds (kratom) to thousands (kava) of years as herbal medicines and in rituals. Today, they are often referred to as dietary supplements for a variety of conditions.
“I began by giving away kratom to people in need -- people who were in pain or trying to get off opiates, or stop drinking,” explained Adam Matricardi, the most hands-on of the partners in the business. “If someone is in need, it can be another thing to try.”
Matricardi, who came out of the nutrition industry, has been studying alternative healing for almost 10 years. He started by exploring relief for chronic pain, and is well-known within the kava and kratom community. His company, Soulful Herbals, is also based at the location, with a full smoke shop on site. He met his other partners -- Gary Langshteyn, Michael Shur, Vlad Svetlov, and store manager and mixologist Craig McTaggert -- through friends at an industry event. McTaggert is also a long-time fixture in the kava community in South Florida, and is equally well-known and well-respected.
The idea for Elixir Kava Bar came out of the shared vision and expertise of all the partners.
“We met Adam, tried the products, and said ‘Wow, we have to look into this,’” noted Shur.
All the partners had visited South Florida while living in New York, and Langshteyn particularly has always had a liking for Hollywood.
“I was always interested in Young Circle,” Langshteyn continued. “So when we found that this location was available, and it was already built out so we had to do very little, it was a no-brainer. The location right across from Young Circle made it another no-brainer.”
“And the way Hollywood is growing, especially Harrison Street and Hollywood Boulevard,” added Shur, “well, that was the third no-brainer.”
With the redevelopment, new investment, increased foot traffic, and streetscape improvements which continue to attract new businesses to Downtown Hollywood, the time to open a new business here seemed perfect.
They brought in a muralist from Wynwood to add some art and finishing touches, transformed a small outdoor space in the back into a working garden and patio, and Elixir Kava Bar opened in early February. So far, response has been positive, and the business is already building a following.
Unlike traditional kava drinks, both kava and kratom drinks at Elixir Kava Bar are mixed to taste good.
“We wanted to formulate drinks that people would enjoy and sip, not just get through,” Langshteyn explained.
Among the tasty kava libations at Elixir Kava Bar (each $9) are Say Less, made with kava, oat milk, and caramel; Kavapolitian, with kava, guava nectar, coconut milk, and hibiscus simple syrup; and Cinnamon Toast Krunch, with kava, vanilla oat milk, and cinnamon simple syrup.
Among the most popular in the kratom selections (also $9 each) are the savory Thyme Machine, with tonic, lime, thyme and kratom extract; and Just Peachy, with peach nectar, raspberry sparkling water and kratom extract.
Brewed shots and teas are also available (starting at $7), as well as large quantities, up to gallons, of both teas, (up to $55 depending on amount).
Elixir Kava Bar hosts Happy Hours daily from 4 - 7 pm with 30% off the entire drink menu; Karaoke nights every other Wednesday; Jazz nights, live entertainment, and more. They serve a variety of light foods, including paninis, overnight oats, yogurts, sandwiches, and salads. ($7 - $15).
Elixir is open Sunday to Thursday, 9 am to 2 am, Friday and Saturday, 9 am to 3 am. For more information on the business, or to learn more about Kava and Kratom, please contact 305-337-1501, firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit www.elixirkavansmoke.com.