The Five Points neighborhood will soon witness the opening of San Antonio's first kombucha-based eatery, Alchemy Kombucha and Culture, at 1123 N. Flores (inside the former Feast East Cafe). The zesty 'booch will be paired with veggie-centric items by Brandon McKelvey (Say.She.Ate TX) and Mark "Wildcat" Garcia (The Monterey, Barbaro, Beat Street).
Alchemy is owned by business partners Kevin Rayhons and Tim Trofimenkov, who've been into kombucha tea for a while; Rayhons has brewed his own for several years now and Trofimenkov grew up on the stuff as brewed by his mother while living in a small village in Siberia.
"We couldn't afford soda," Trofimenkov joked.
The kombucha tea, which takes a month or so to ferment from beginning to end (and includes a fun, gooey "scoby"
culture), will be available in four iterations: hibiscus and jasmine, milky oolong, green tea and a smoky black tea. Production will remain in-house in an adjacent room to the main dining area, but distribution is definitely something Rayhons and Trofimenkov have planned for the future. A 6-tap system is in place, but will likely grow to feature more kombucha.
McKelvey and Wildcat will share a giant kitchen where they'll create vegetarian- and vegan-friendly dishes with the option to include animal protein. Only a couple of protein dishes will make it on the menu, and brunch-goers should keep an eye out on a taqueria brunch to come in the next few weeks. The dining room is paired with a breezy outdoor patio filled with handmade cedar benches and tables, where the guys hope to feature live music and glass-blowing demos to build on their "culture" concept.
The last part of the puzzle was added as Javier Gutierrez and Joseph Hernandez, formerly with The Brooklynite and The Last Word, joined the team as consultants. It's like a restaurant/bar super-group of sorts. Gutierrez and Hernandez will create five cocktails to start using lighter spirits to pair with the kombucha.
For now, Alchemy Kombucha and Culture will open on Monday, April 20 at 6 p.m. for a small, preview party with a few samples of the food and cocktail menu, and again on Friday, April 24 and Saturday, April 26 from 6 p.m. to 2 a.m.