Columbia’s Bourbon soon to undergo transformation for annual “tiki week”

Photos provided.

Columbia’s Cajun-Creole restaurant and bar, Bourbon, will soon be transforming into an island-themed oasis for two weeks.

The normal food and cocktail menus will be replaced by island drinks, pu-pu platters and festive cocktail glasses.  The interior of the restaurant will be decorated with bamboo, grass thatch, tiki masks, and other festive decor throughout the building.

Bourbon’s cocktail list will include classic tiki cocktails like the Mai Tai, Zombie, Navy Grog and Painkiller, in addition to originals from Bourbon’s bartenders.  Owner Kristian Niemi and executive bartender Kat Hunter come together to create the cocktails list to showcase the tiki flavors.

Niemi explained why he chooses to transform his bar every year for two weeks:  “Mainly, the reason I want to do it, and make it an annual event, is it gives us the ability to explore and celebrate an amazing style of the cocktail experience that we normally wouldn’t.  And who knows? If it’s a big hit, we may open a dedicated tiki bar,” he said.

Niemi stressed that the festive drinks will not be the stereotypical syrupy-sweet tiki cocktails.  “The drinks, when made properly, are absolutely stunning.  They are not the sickly sweet, strangely colored concoctions that people have become accustomed to because of bad bartenders or misinformed recipe books,” he said.

Bourbon patrons look forward to the event every year.  “Tiki week is always something I look forward to,” customer Neil Boone said.  “It’s a great way to kick the cold and discover a new tropical cocktail.”

Executive Chef Frank Bradley will add an island-themed menu to reflect a taste of the various tiki influences, from Polynesia to the Caribbean.

The tiki festivities begin the evening of January 21 with a private event, and will last until Sunday, Feb. 3.  Bourbon is located at 1214 Main Street.

Categories: Arts & Entertainment, Business, Columbia, Richland County