Bars where Pete has had a Drink (5,812 bars; 1,754 bars in Seattle) - Click titles below for Lists:

Bars where Pete has had a drink

Sunday, May 05, 2024

#5703 - 4 Kahuna's Tiki Lounge, Fort Worth, TX - 4/5/2024

4 Kahunas Tiki Lounge is not in a location where you stumble upon it by accident -- unless perhaps you took a couple wrong turns coming home from a Cowboys game. So I was quite glad that my research had included it on the list of DFW area bars to check, and with few expectations, it exceeded my tiki hopes. From a non-descript warehouse and freeway sort of neighborhood, one steps into the 4 Kahunas to find just the right sort of lighting and vibes. And the tiki drinks were quite nice in both the drinking and the presentations -- in my case engagingly prepared and served by bartender Maggie, who was a whirlwind of drink making mixed with friendly chatting.

Re. the creation of the drink program, the Dallas Observer wrote:

"To help the four friends create a respectable tiki program (because, yes, it can be done wrong), they brought in Brad Bowden. Bowden started the weekly tiki program at Lounge Here and has made a name for himself in the Dallas tiki scene. (Yes, it's a thing.) He brings his laid-back elegance to the program and doesn't take any shortcuts when it comes to ingredients — think fresh-squeezed juices and housemade orgeat and syrups. The lounge even makes its coconut cream, and it's decadent."

This article and some others also state that the 4 Kahunas (J.P. Hunter, Scott Smith, Chris Powell and Randy Shepherd) originated the idea for the bar while visiting Frankie's Tiki Room in Las Vegas. However the bar's web site itself tells a very different story, and in light of the entire tiki movement's well earned reputation for never swerving from a rigorous adherence to the exact truth, I think we must rely on that version of the origin story:

"As the word spread that Lord C.C. Bigsby was missing, a brave band of four brothers set out to sail the seven seas to find him - and perhaps have an adventure or two along the way.  Not long into their journey, adventure found them (in the way of a tropical storm) that marooned the brothers on the very island where Lord Bigsby was last rumored to have been seen. The island's infamous witch doctor wasted no time in capturing the brothers, and she boasted they would soon share the same deadly fate as the island's king had bestowed upon Lord Bigsby!

The brothers put their heads together and thought fast. Surely the rum in their battered ship's cargo hold could help them! They began crafting drinks for the king with the rum and the island's many fresh fruits. So pleased was he with their tropical concoctions, he declared the four brothers Kahunas (wise men) and made the witch doctor grant them one wish! They wished to use the king's radio, called for a rescue and imbibed with the king, witch doctor, and other islanders while waiting for their lifeboat.

Now that they're home, the Four Kahunas hope you enjoy the drinks they've created in honor of their Polynesian adventure!"   (


506 E Division St #160, Arlington, TX 76011 - (682) 276-6097
Est. June 15, 2018 
Previous bars in this location:  None known 
Web site: - facebook - instagram 
Articles sorted: dallasobserver - fwweekly - tikirepublic - dallasnews - dmagazine - texasmonthly - eater - hoodline - - - (mug) - fwweekly

Friday, May 03, 2024

#5749 - Cloak and Dagger, Cleveland, OH - 5/1/2024

Cloak and Dagger, Cleveland, OH

Cloak and Dagger is a gothy, "librarian inspired" bar that feels like having drinks in the library of the Adams Family, and being rewarded with highly creative and nicely balanced cocktails. As part of the library them, the menu is presented as a small book, with a new edition each season. The skilled bartenders work together on the drink menu, and while I did not eat in this visit, the vegan dishes from the kitchen looked great.

With some consultation with bartenders Ben and Hailey, I chose a King of the Dead (bourbon, Amontiladdo sherry, Fernet, cherry bark vanilla bitters, aromatic bitters, cold brew) and then a La Joya (banana infused Jamaican rum, cachaca, Oloroso sherry, vanilla, tiki bitters, coconut water cube) off the spring menu -- both of which I found quite fine. And as Ben turned out to be a baseball fan, and supporter of the Akron Rubberducks, our discussion covered baseball as well as cocktails and recommendations for area bars (thanks for the tips!).

For the quality and inventiveness of the cocktails, as well as the darkly embracing decor, Cloak and Dagger is definitely high among my favorite bars in Cleveland.

2399 W 11th St, Cleveland, OH 44113 - (216) 795-5657
Est. Oct 13, 2020  
Previous bars in this location: Salsarito 
Web site: - facebook - instagram 
Reviews: clevescene - ohiomagazine - - clevescene - clevelandmagazine - secretcleveland - yelp -  thisiscleveland 

#5750 - Speak of the Devil, Lorain, OH - 5/1/2024

Speak of the Devil, Lorain, OH

First, in full disclosure, I could hardly be more in love with this bar, these people, and this town. It didn't hurt that as I turned off Highway 6 along Lake Erie, just after crossing the Black River, and onto Lorain, Ohio's historic main drag Broadway, the weather was beautiful and the skies filled with clouds that appeared to be painted by Maxfield Parrish.

Were this part of town anywhere on the west coast, it would be packed with antique stores, gift shops, and coffee shops, and people would be contesting for available paid parking. But this old steel and shipping town hasn't reached anything much like that, although the potential is obvious from the beautiful old buildings, and the renaissance has clearly begun. Many people say the revitalization was sparked by my destination today -- the "Speak of the Devil" craft cocktail bar.

It was audacious indeed for Kurt and Page Hernon to found such a bar here, in what was commonly considered pretty much a ghost town. But Kurt had become deeply interested in the history and construction of fine cocktails -- apparently taking the typical career path of air traffic controller, to punk rock reporter, to owning an upscale bar in a town where no one would expect one. He'd created and hosted various cocktail related events over the last several years, before the couple sold their house, purchased a 1902 building just off the main drag, remodeled the upper portion into their living quarters, and the bottom into a just lovely bar.

You feel welcome the instant you enter the place -- I was first greeted by Kurt's son Hiatt, who explained that I was welcome to sit anywhere, including the back patio. As I spoke to Hiatt, bartenders Jack and Noah, and eventually Kurt and Page themselves, I quickly came to appreciate all their devotion to the craft of cocktailing, the history, and practicing their craft in a friendly, neighborhood setting.

Among the various spirits they discussed, they noted their emphases on Old Overholt, established in 1810 and commonly considered the longest running whiskey brand in America. American whiskey really started with Pennsylvania rye, and while Old Overholt languished with some relatively unexciting mash bills -- under the ownership of Jim Beam for the last few decades -- over the last several years new releases have revitalized the brand. And Speak of the Devil sells tons of it.

Kurt Hernon and Paulius Nasvytis

Yet another pleasant surprise for me was their stolid antique back bar -- different from any I have seen before, and obtained by Kurt after residing in an Akron, Ohio Knights of Columbus Hall. The bar and the town both have the sort of community that when Kurt posted a request for help unloading and setting it up in Feb 2017, more than a dozen people showed up and got the thing in place. It's hard for me to describe -- it looks like it could be mid-century, or art deco, or just the whims of a local wordworker. So you'll have to rely on the photos.

As luck would have it this evening, Paulius Nasvytis, the founder of seminal Cleveland cocktail lounge "The Velvet Tango Room," dropped by this evening as well. This was much appreciated by Kurt and crew, who were largely inspired by the bar.

Noah, Page, Hiatt, and Jack
Great people!
Lorain, Ohio is 150 miles from us, so unfortunately we can't make this bar a regular hangout. But it is most definitely going onto my favorites list, and I can't wait to come back, especially with Trista and other friends and relatives.

201 W 5th St, Lorain, OH 44052 - (440) 434-4286
Est. Dec 16, 2017 - Building constructed: 1902
Previous bars in this location: None known
Web site: - facebook - instagram
Articles ranked: imbibemagazine - ohlq - voyageohio - chroniclet - pulselorain - - voyageohio - clevelandmagazine - new day cleveland - clevelandmagazine - wkyc - wkyc - yelp - tripadvisor