We've been excited about this since it was teased almost a year ago: The tiki bar on Lowest Greenville, Swizzle, is finally open.
Co-owners Jen (aka Jen Ann Tonic) and Marty Reyes are all about tiki. It's not just a cocktail style for them, it's a lifestyle. While having tiki pop-ups here and there, it took Marty years to convince Jen it was time to open their dream bar. She finally gave in, and we couldn't be happier she did.
The space on Lowest Greenville underwent an extraordinary makeover. They transformed every wall and surface to make an immersive experience, from an anteroom with a custom fountain made by Jen's stepfather and uncle to tiles from the well-known tiki concept Trader Vic's. They tried to make the space feel lived in, not manufactured; and every detail looks thoughtfully considered.
Jen (aka Jen Ann Tonic) and Marty Reyes
With so many sensitivities to cultural appropriation in tiki concepts, I had to bring it up. Jen, being of Filipino descent with strong family ties to Hawaii, said she was conscious of every element included in the bar. They dedicated an entire wall to a mural to show where the rum behind their bar comes from, and they will launch an initiative that will benefit those who may have been "overlooked" by some previous tiki concepts.
Look for a full food menu from Swizzle, complete with staples like Sweet Spam Stir Fry ($13) and Lumpia ($8), tiki concoctions, and even a frozen Dole Whip (available soon). Jen's favorite, the Pukiki Punch ($13), and the Black Pearl Diver ($13) got us in a tropical mood. Our table enjoyed every item, and all were eager to return to try other cocktail options. (But best to know your limits, because, tiki.)
While they have things humming, they are giving themselves time to get everything ship-shape. We still get to look forward to choreographed "shows" when special cocktails are ordered, and dessert and happy hour menus will soon follow, too.
Swizzle, 1802 Greenville Ave., No 110 (Lowest Greenville). Open 4 p.m. to midnight Wednesday through Sunday. Reservations are required after 6 p.m.