The Daily Tar Heel

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Monday May 29th

Kraving Kava? Carrboro's first kava bar provides a relaxing experience

The Krave Kava Bar at 103 W. Main St. in Carrboro provides an alcohol alternative for anyone 18 and older. Photo by Kyle Hodges.
Buy Photos The Krave Kava Bar at 103 W. Main St. in Carrboro provides an alcohol alternative for anyone 18 and older. Photo by Kyle Hodges.

Krave, Carrboro and Chapel Hill’s first kava bar, opened in March 2015. It is located on Main Street in Carrboro near Open Eye Café and offers a wide range of tea and herbal drinks. 

The teas and drinks that Krave serves are made out of kava, a type of plant root. Kava can be found on the islands of Vanuatu and Fiji in the South Pacific. The tea has an earthy flavor and is said to heal anxiety, pain and other ailments. 

Some people suggest the tea is an alternative to alcohol. 

Elizabeth Gardner, the owner of Krave and a UNC graduate, opened the kava bar on her birthday. Gardner, who is also a lawyer, said after a long day of work, drinking kava tea helps her unwind and avoid a hangover. 

“It is supposed to be a very relaxing beverage, and also increases your feeling of well-being and it doesn’t alter your mind,” Gardner said. 

The mellow and relaxing environment of the kava bar is something Gardner enjoys. She said she got her inspiration for Krave from visiting Purple Lotus, a kava bar in South Florida. 

Andrew Gardner, Elizabeth Gardner's husband, said he loves how kava calms and relaxes. 

“It leaves you focused," he said. "You can concentrate on any kind of task. That’s the best thing about it, it doesn’t make you out of control or too drowsy.” 

Kratom is a tea from Asia that is over a thousand years old; the leaves of this plant are used to make tea. This type of tea gives alertness similar to coffee without the caffeine or jitteriness, Elizabeth Gardner said. She said she saw many lawyers, doctors and realtors drinking this tea to help them stay alert. 

“It ended up helping people who are trying to kick opioids, because it sits on your opioid receptor,” Elizabeth Gardner said. 

Elizabeth Edwards, a regular customer at Krave, said drinking kava tea helped her cope with chronic pain.  

“It actually saved my life, this stuff," she said. 


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