Kava Bar Category: Kava Bars
TE MANA… The Myth, the Mystery, the Men…
The owners/operators are Keith and Toby. Keith is from New York, & Toby hails from a small Kentucky farm town.
About 30yrs ago, Keith was travelling around in the South Pacific, airing his head out, so to speak. During a ten-day Polynesian stop in Bora Bora, Mo’orea, and Pape’ete, Keith was introduced to kava, by a tribal chief, Pingisimo. The meeting took place at Pingisimo’s nakamal in Ha’apiti, on the island of Mo’orea. Keith noticed a guy napping in a hammock, just outside the nakamal. After consuming several “shells”, (a shell is a single serving of kava), Keith began to slip into a very relaxed state of mind and body, (the kava groove). The guy in the hammock, Toby, slowly got to his feet, and made his way over to the nakamal. As he approached Pingisimo, Toby honored the chief, by offering him kava from his backpack. (When meeting the Chief of a tribe, it’s customary to give him kava). Pingisimo smiled, and gratefully accepted Toby’s gift, after which he introduced Toby to Keith. The three sat in the nakamal for hours, drinking kava, chatting, and spacing out. Unwilling, or perhaps unable to leave, Toby and Keith slept that night, under the South Pacific skies, in two large hammocks, strung from coconut palms outside the nakamal. The warm South Pacific days passed, with Keith and Toby drinking kava and grooving at Pingisimo’s nakamal. The day came when they bid farewell to Pingisimo, and to each other, vowing to meet again.
Twenty years passed, and Keith had moved to South Florida, and had become the Executive Vice President of the largest builders’ supply in Palm Beach County. Toby, as fate would have it, had also moved to South Florida. He had become a Firefighter/Paramedic, with West Palm Beach Fire Department. By chance, they were both grooving solo, in West Palm Beach, hopping from bar to bar. After several bars and several beers, they recognized each other from across the room. They talked and reminisced about the laid back groove they had experienced while drinking shells in Polynesia.
Keith, being a born businessman, and Toby, a born hustler, began to hatch an idea. They decided to open a nakamal on Clematis Street, in West Palm Beach.
They wanted to turn all people on to the “kava groove”. Their dream came to fruition on April 28, 2010. The rest is history.
So, there you have it. The true story of a nakamal called TE MANA.
- 521 Clematis St
West Palm Beach
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