Pictured above is Kava being scooped into a “shell” or “bilo”

Sovereign Kava Bar, Asheville

Sovereign Kava Bar is the first of it’s kind in Asheville, North Carolina. Sovereign has gone through many different changes since opening, but what has remained true throughout its over 10 years of operation, is it’s kava-centric style.

One thing I have noticed as a kava enjoyer from the St. Petersburg area is that many kava bars tend to have a kratom-centric customer base. This is not an inherently bad thing, but something Tom Scheve, general manager of Sovereign Kava Bar in Asheville pointed out is  is that “kratom and kava just have a different energy”. Kava, the social lubricant is shared by communities of kava lovers is “cheersed” in a unique way. Kava drinkers hold up their shell or bilo (a serving of kava) and say “bula!” which means “to long life”. This same sentiment is not typically shared by a wide range of kratom drinkers (though there are plenty of exceptions) – in my experience, the kratom drinkers that I know who love to share and exist in the realm of one another, tend to do so in kava bars. 

Sovereign’s community is as tightly-knit as any kava bar that I have seen thus far in my kava journey, and what brings them even closer together is the friendly and eager attitudes if the kava tenders, the beautiful and comforting design, and the high-quality drinks that they serve.

Though sovereign provides a wide variety of different drinks, kava is definitely the star of the show. According to Scheve, most of their kava is sourced from Vanuatu, with occasional sourcing from the Solomon Islands and Fiji. They brew kava daily, and it flies off the shelves just about as fast as they can brew it. Sovereign brews kava by hand as opposed to serving micronized kava, which I was very impressed by.

Sovereign provides weekly events with great success. Every Monday the y host a ping pong tournament, every Tuesday they host an open jam, supported by local musicians, every Wednesday they host a poetry open mic, which is said to be their most popular event by far – having lasted just about as long as they’ve been in business, and every Thursday they have a stand up comedy or singer / songwriter night. I have personally attended the open jam night, and I can confirm – it’s a total blast! On they weekends they feature the best musicians around town, allowing for the perfect hub for sober night life, followed by Sunday’s chess tournaments. 

Sovereign Kava prides themselves on being a safe space to make friends, while hosting the perfect place for people to have a good time and loosen up. Kava bars are unique in that they provide a safe community for sober people to form healthy connections between themselves, and the exotic teas that bind them. North Carolina has seen a recent boom in the growing number of kava bars in the area, and I believe it is safe to assume that Sovereign has acted as a local catalyst. 

I would like to give out a big thank you to Sovering Kava and Tom Scheve for helping to provide such a beautiful and welcoming space in an area with such a quickly growing kava community. Linked below is their website and their Facebook.

Website: https://www.ashevillekava.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/sovereignkava/

2 responses to “Sovereign Kava Bar, Asheville”

  1. In our 12 years of operation (we started out under the name Vanuatu Kava Bar, then Noble Kava, and since the owners’ divorce, Sovereign) we’ve had some good write ups, but I think this might be my favorite: we are honored and flattered! Thank you~

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