Tiki Time at Wolfe & Porter

From 4 p.m. to midnight on Saturday, May 18, Raleigh’s Wolfe & Porter cocktail bar transformed into a Polynesian paradise. Thanks to a grand opening General Manager Richie Reno described as “exceeding our wildest expectations,” Tiki Fest — which celebrated the venue’s literary-inspired classic (and creative) cocktail bar upstairs and downstairs bourbon lounge — will become an annual event.

The event made use of the newly built outdoor stage by featuring live music from Tonk, Kicking Bird, My Sister Maura, and Charlie Paso, and allowed guests to imbibe in specially concocted creations like the Frozen Jungle Bird and Get a Room while making use of the Jerk Man Island Cuisine food truck in the abundant outdoor space.

As Reno explained: “We built that beautiful stage out there, and we are going to use it.” Supporting local bands will be an ongoing attraction, as the ample and ambient event space will be available for parties and other occasions. With more bands and food trucks on the menu in the months to come, guests can look forward to Second Saturday events and special and seasonal drink menus — and, of course, next year’s Tiki Fest.

“The short and sweet of it,” said Reno about the evening’s theme, “is it just makes me happy.” And on Saturday at 905 Morgan Street, it was all about the islands and a lively but laid-back vibe in a haunt he described as honoring “both tweaks and riffs and honed classics,” with the upstairs “creative laboratory” and aptly named “swanky, classic bourbon bar” downstairs.

While Wolfe & Porter caters “to the diversity that is Raleigh,” Reno suggested that The Cellar is likely to appeal to those on date nights and the after-work happy hour crowd. Yet, as Reno makes clear: “Everyone is welcome everywhere and we really encourage that.”

If Wolfe & Porter’s first foray is anything to go by, the welcoming atmosphere will linger long after the leis and grass skirts are removed.

Wolfe & Porter is serving Monday–Friday, 4 p.m. to midnight and from noon to midnight on Saturday and Sunday. The Cellar is open Thursday–Saturday from 6 p.m. to midnight.


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