What Does It Take To Start a Kava Bar

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Kava is an amazing drink. It combines the best of alcohol and coffee while also getting rid of all the bad stuff that comes along with them. On top of this kava drinks are cheap to manufacture and can be sold for a great profit margin. One of the biggest questions the team here at Kava-Bula gets asked is “what does it take to start a kava bar?” Well, this article covers everything you will ever need to know.

When looking to start a kava bar you can get started by just having the following 3 things. First, you will need the tools to brew and serve kava properly. Second, you will have to look at locations to build your kava bar. Third, you will have to acquire the proper licensing for your area.

That’s the bare bones of what you need to get started with a kava bar. However, the team here at Kava-Bula always recommends going above and beyond with preparations. Often the people who put lots of more effort and money into their kava bar business will make more money and be more successful. Check out this article if you have time that goes over the profitability of kava bars.

Let’s jump right into the article ya; here is exactly what it takes to start a kava bar.

You Will Need the Tools to Brew and Serve the Kava Properly

It goes without saying that one of the most important things you will need to make a kava bar business are the tools to properly brew and serve large amounts of kava.

Most kava bars will go through thousands of kava shells/drinks per day. Each one of these drinks is around 8-12 oz worth of kava. Not only do you have to have the ability to manufacture upwards of 20-30 galleons of kava a day you will have to also get the glasses/chairs/and other small things which make a bar a bar.

In reality, you can get by just offering people kava drinks in disposable cups. We know plenty of small kava bar owners who got their start doing this. However, once you have saved up some cash you might want to upgrade to actual drinking glasses. For this, the team here at Kava-Bula recommends grabbing some plastic colorful drinking shells. These are easy to clean and take care of.

Regarding the equipment to brew 20-30 gallons of kava a day you should look into grabbing a 20 gallons liquid container. Some of the guys here on the islands use large feed containers that you would find on farms. These are often pretty cheap and can easily help you brew the kava in large quantities.

Throw in about a half pound of kava per every gallon and mix with a large stirring rod. One gallon of kava will get you about 10-13 kava drinks out of it.

At the most basic level all you need is just a place to mix the kava, the drinks to serve it, and kava powder. We have seen several large kava guys get their start selling these kava drinks with only these three things.

You Will Have to Look at Locations to Build Your Kava Bar

Once you have decided to make it official with your kava bar you will have to look at locations. This is often where a majority of kava bars fail so you should spend some considerable time looking into just the right spot.

The first step to finding the best location for your kava bar is to look at where your target demographic is. Kava bars are not popular right now among the more high-class conservative crowd. Young adults with discretionary spending income are often the best demographic to target as they are willing to experiment with locations to hang out.

As such some of the best locations for a kava bar is either near a university or a large city with a younger population. Both of these locations are high-traffic locations where you can open a decent kava bar and grab a steady stream of customers.

This is why when you look at kava bars across the world right now they are located in high-traffic places such as cities and universities. The target demographic of these locations is young adults who want to find a place to hang out and socialize with other people.

I can only speak for the United States as that is the place the team travels around the most helping people build their kava bars. We have seen kava bars spring up in places such as New York, Dallas, Denver, Los Angles, and out here on the Islands. The kava bars that stick around and are successful are the ones that target a certain theme and place themselves in a high-traffic location.

You Will Have to Acquire the Proper Licensing for Your Area

This is a major thing that will depend on your location. As we speak right now there is not much legislation in the United States regarding the status of kava; currently it exists somewhere between being treated like a tea or an adult beverage.

Since there is very little amount of legislation regarding the status of kava it is up to each individual city/state/region to make their own laws surrounding the use and sale of kava. I know that here in the islands there is almost nothing stopping the sale of kava as a beverage; it is treated like tea or coffee.

However, this won’t be the same for you. If you are thinking about opening up a kava bar you will have to look into the laws in your local area regarding kava. Chances are you are fine as across the United States people are opening kava bars in nearly all major cities and tourist hubs.

On top of this, you will have to get the normal business certifications and licensing for your area. Most people think this is hard but most counties and cities across the United States will actually help you with the process as they want more small businesses in the area.

I know of some kava bars in Florida that only had to obtain a small business license. The owners of these places are killing it and whenever they reach out to the team here at Kava-Bula they are happy to let us know about it. We love sharing kava with everyone and especially if it helps them fulfill their dreams of opening a kava bar.


That’s about it to answering the question of what exactly it takes to start a kava bar.

Many people overthink it and get confused as to where to start. I have encountered people who started off selling small kava drinks in disposable cups at local markets. The trick is to just start.

Remember kava is a traditional drink that is designed to unite a local community. This is why when we drink kava we all say in unison ‘bula!’ This word roughly translates to wishing your local community and those around you good health and fortune. So bula to you!


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