Here’s another fun on-site expansion idea: Hi-Wire Brewing is opening a tiki bar and speakeasy that will be hidden behind its South Slope Specialty Brewery in Asheville, N.C. Construction of the tropical-themed of Tiki Easy Bar has begun and it is set to open to the public in July 2023.
The inspiration? Oddly, it was the pandemic, according to Chris Frosaker, co-owner of Hi-Wire Brewing
“I have become obsessed with tiki bars and drinks since the Covid-19 pandemic began,” Frosaker said. “Our world seems to be getting crazier every day, and I love the escapism a tiki bar provides, where you can enter a new world and forget about your day-to-day life with a strong drink in hand.” Combining this new passion with some newly-acquired space at the craft brewery’s original location, ‘The Tiki Easy Bar’ was born.
Hi-Wire Brewing is no stranger to opening new, fun-filled drinking establishments with soon-to-be eleven locations across the Southeast and Midwest. However, The Tiki Easy Bar will be unlike anything the brewery has done before with exotic jungle decor, tiki drink concoctions, and a secret entrance.
Along with traditional tiki decor, The Tiki Easy Bar also plays into the current cocktail craze. It will have one of the largest rum selections in the state, and a rotating tiki-only cocktail menu with more than thirty varieties of tiki drinks. The speakeasy’s menu combines a slew of classic tiki cocktails, modern tiki drinks designed in-house, and a selection of island-inspired mocktails.
Chris Frosaker’s go-to drink will, of course, make an appearance or two. “I am obsessed with the Mai Tai, which happens to be the most misunderstood and bastardized cocktail in history,” said Frosaker. To celebrate the co-owner’s passion for a proper Mai Tai, The Tiki Easy Bar will feature two Mai Tai options at all times, and every Monday, bartenders will experiment with rums from around the world paired with a variety of curacao liqueurs for the bar’s ‘Mai Tai Mondays.’
The tiki bar will occupy a 2500-square-foot space through the back door of Hi-Wire’s South Slope Specialty Brewery, an area of the building that has not been previously open to the public.
“We have operated our South Slope brewery as a specialty facility since 2016, making the bulk of our beer down the street at our Biltmore Village Production Brewery,” said Frosaker, “but when our landlord decided to retire last summer and offered us the chance to purchase the building where Hi-Wire first started ten years ago, it was a no brainer to cement our roots where it all began.”
To access The Tiki Easy Bar, guests must venture through tanks and barrels of the brewery until they uncover the secret passage which will lead them through the jungle to an island oasis beyond. There will not be an exterior sign on the building pointing the way, so only adventure-seekers and curious cocktail-lovers will discover the bar’s secrets hidden behind the brewery.
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