Chai Bar, the first brick-and-mortar from local chai company David Rio, has made its mid-Market debut. The new location will serve the company's flagship, offering the company's signature tea blends, which have been served at local spots like La Boulange and The Grove for years. CEO Scott Lowe, who co-founded the company with wife Rio Miura in the '90s, told Eater last year that the company had "been missing a part of [their] business," and wanted to offer a more personal experience with their products. Given the area's recent influx of coffee roasters and cafes, including Dignita at The Hall and Equator Coffee's new shop across the street, those seeking an alternative won't be disappointed.
Hoodline reports that the chai-centric spot opened this morning, serving 11 types of chai in flavors like maple, mango, vanilla and green tea. There'll also be frozen blended chai drinks, tea lattes, matcha, and espresso drinks. As for food, the menu includes pastries that are baked in-house, as well as a Japanese-influenced menu of to-go salads and onigiri rice balls, with fillings like teriyaki chicken, umeboshi plum and Spam. Lowe and Miura are still waiting on their beer and wine license, but once it kicks in, they plan to transition to the evening with wine, beer and sake.
Intended to cater to a variety of customers, the comfortable, wifi-equipped interior includes "lounge-style" seating that lends itself to solo chai enthusiasts or groups. And in the interest of continued innovation, Lowe and Miura have carved out a section of the 2,600-square-foot space for the "Chai Lab," where customers can sample new products and give feedback on ideas that are still in the works.
Chai Bar will be open Monday-Friday from 7 a.m.-8 p.m.; weekend hours are still under consideration.