Congratulations New York City, 2016 will be the year you’ll get the experimental kola bar you never knew the city was missing. According to a press release from Pepsi, the soda maker has plans to open Kola House—a “kola bar, restaurant, lounge, and event space”—in the city’s Meatpacking neighborhood. The Kola House will occupy a cool 5,000-square-feet.
The space will be dedicated to “experimental and elemental themes honoring the kola nut,” which is a bitter fruit that contains caffeine. The original recipe for cola beverages contained the fruit for flavoring, but most companies no longer use it in soda. Pepsi plans on “honoring” the kola nut through curated cocktails crafted by mixologist Alex Ott who has an “unrivaled background in flavor chemistry.” The New York Times notes that Pepsi prefers to refer to Ott as an “alchemist” not a “mixologist,” however.
In addition to drinks, there will also be an “artisanal” menu of kola nut-inspired eats (think dishes like beef tartare with caviar and kola truffle aioli) to go with the drinks. The one thing that won’t be “kola nut-inspired” in the space are the live music performances that are set to take place thanks to a partnership with Live Nation. Best of all, the space will be designed by rockstar Lenny Kravitz’s design firm, Kravitz Design, and while there is no set date, Pepsi hopes to have the space open in the Spring.
Lenny Kravitz is designing a fancy Pepsi restaurant in the meatpacking district, what a time to be alive. https://t.co/PykunVZCx2
— Matt Levine (@matt_levine) January 29, 2016
This isn’t the first time Pepsi has gone upmarket. In 2014, the beverage company introduced a “designer bottled water” called Qua, which is an abbreviation of “Aqua.” The fancy water is micro-filtered and free of sodium. The company also launched a line of artisanal sodas called Caleb’s Kola, a drink made simply from sparkling water, kola nut extract, and Fair Trade-certified cane sugar.