MeloMelo Kava Bar Will Open on Grand Avenue

It's a second location for the popular Berkeley purveyor of what scientists call Piper methysticum.


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Image: Kristan Lawson

Berkeley's MeloMelo Kava Bar is expanding to Oakland.

As reported at Hoodline, it will occupy the former Grand Bakery space on Grand Avenue and offer the same cozily artistic vibe as the Berkeley bar.

MeloMelo serves drinks made from the root of the kava shrub — whose sedative and other psychoactive properties have been celebrated in its native South Pacific for some 3,000 years. Called 'awa in Hawaii, ava in Samoa, yaqona in Fiji and Piper methysticum in scientific labs, kava root is classified in the USA as not a drug but a nutritional supplement.

To some drinkers, it tastes like chalk: to others, like licorice or potato peelings. Some drinkers report anti-anxiety effects, others elation and/or numbed lips. At MeloMelo, it comes mixed with coconut water, ginger juice, pineapple juice, and other choices. 

Rami Kayali launched MeloMelo on Berkeley's University Avenue in 2015 with his friend and fellow food-industry veteran Nico Rivard. 

According to Hoodline, Oakland's MeloMelo is set to open in mid- to late July.

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