When Xpress reported in June on plans to open a bar in the former auto shop beneath her Lexington Avenue restaurant, Rosetta Star, owner of Rosetta’s Kitchen, had hoped to kick off the new venture this fall. But with winter approaching, she says that problems with the nearly 100-year-old property — including necessary asbestos removal — have slowed progress on the project considerably, pushing the expected opening date into spring.
“We are having to remedy some pretty serious issues with the building before we can move forward,” Star says, adding that a March launch date now seems probable.
The space, says Star, will be a partnership with Buchi, Asheville's craft-kombucha brewery, and a new type of business for the area: a kombucha bar serving the probiotic, fermented tea on tap and as a base for healthy, nonalcoholic elixirs and cocktails with alcohol. The name will be The Buchi Bar at Rosetta's Kitchen.
Although Rosetta's already serves Buchi kombucha on tap, along with beer and wine, Star says the downstairs bar will expand on the theme.
“We're focused on adding a new edge to the bar scene,” she explains. “We'll be using kombucha for spirited and nonspirited cocktails. We're adding a whole array of elixirs, and we'll have all five flavors of Buchi on draft, plus local beer and cider.”
According to Buchi co-owner Sarah Schomber, the new bar will give her and co-owner Jeannine Buscher a platform for flexing their creative muscles. “The nice thing is, we’ll have this venue to experiment and play with small batches and seasonal flavors,” she says. “The experimental part is really exciting.”
The bar will feature an open-air patio and offer food selections from Rosetta's, delivered via dumbwaiter. Star says that, like her restaurant, the partnership with Buchi will utilize “dynamic governance,” including transparent bookkeeping practices, profit-sharing and a “consent-based decision-making structure.”