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Davis, California

Tuesday, May 28, 2024

Root of Happiness Kava Bar hosts ‘Resonance Roots’ night to provide Davis community with an alcohol-free space to party

The business offers an alternative to social gatherings focused on drinking


By ZOE SMITH — city@theaggie.org


On Sept. 21, Root of Happiness Kava Bar located on 211 F Street in Davis hosted a “Resonance Roots” night for individuals 18 and older. Local DJs, including The Davis DJ, Producer Homsy, Jacob Johnson and DJ Doubts, all performed, and entrance was free for all attendees. 

This is the second time that Root of Happiness has hosted this type of event, but the business regularly puts on similar events such as jazz nights and after parties. They have previously collaborated with groups such as Our Street Night Market

Kava, a beverage with roots in several South Pacific cultures, is seeing a recent gain in popularity due to its calming effects. Kava comes from the root of the plant Piper methysticum. It contains the compound kavapyrone which creates a calm, relaxed feeling in the brain, similar to the effects of alcohol. It is commonly used to treat pain, anxiety and relax muscles.

Lauren Martinez, who has been the general manager of Root of Happiness in Davis since Jan. 2023, spoke on the calming effects of the drink. 

“Kava is great for people who have issues with sleep, anxiety [or] pain,” Martinez said. “We don’t recommend you drink it if you’re under 18, but it is great for young people. It’s also really great for students who just come out and not necessarily get crazy but they want to relax. They want to feel more sociable and talkative and share stories.” 

Root of Happiness sells kava products online and at several locations — besides Davis, they also have bars in Rancho Cordova, Roseville and Sacramento.

Frequent customer Zachary Carl Floerae comes to Root of Happiness almost every day. He uses the space to unwind, do work and socialize.  

“It’s a great social beverage, I would say I prefer it to beer and coffee,” Floerae said. “It provides a mild sense of euphoria and I would say relaxation. Kava seems to be more popular with the 18 to 21 crowd that aren’t able to go to the bars.” 

Jasmine Cornelius, a kava tender at the downtown Davis location, has been working at Root of Happiness for over a year.

“This is an alcohol and drug-free bar,” Cornelius said. “I feel kava is on the rise to being a popular drink […] we’ve definitely gotten a lot more foot traffic from different people from the Bay Area or out of state, out of town or they’re visiting. They’ve heard from a friend of a friend about this place.” 

The kava bar offers the Davis community an alternative space to party for those who are underage or choose not to drink. Nights such as “Resonance Roots” provide the atmosphere of a party without the pressure to be intoxicated. 

“This is a good scene for a mock bar,” Cornelius said. “You get all types of people from all walks of life […] I would definitely say for people who may be in recovery or they’re trying to knock off another bad habit, this is a good alternative to help in that direction.”

Martinez also spoke on the “really unique setting” that Root of Happiness offers. 

“You can go to any bar, any brewery, any restaurant, but this is the only kava bar you’re gonna find in the area,” Martinez said. “And so I think that’s pretty cool. Especially the vibe that we give off […] it just has such a good energy to it.” 

Martinez spoke about how the bar has been helpful for community involvement and how they are hoping to have more events.

“We’ve had jazz nights, we’ve had the Resonance Roots nights,” Martinez said. “I’m planning on doing art nights where you have local artists come in and teach people how to paint. I think it’s just been a really great way to bring in new people and get the whole community involved.”


Written By: Zoe Smith city@theaggie.org