The new Oddity Kombucha bar opens Tuesday at 1863 Ontario Street near Olympic Village. We toured the space with owner Alicia Medina over the weekend and they looked to be very ready, though paper remained on the windows. The company has grown a little since Scout first reported on its coming back in March. They now pour from taps at Vital Supply, Luppolo Brewing, August Market, Postmark Brewing, Oddfish, the newly opened Verdura and the Weston Bayshore hotel. Here’s the basic story, cribbed from our last:
Last July I had the pleasure of touring Faculty Brewing Co. at the foot of Mount Pleasant in the final days of its construction. On hand were its founders, Mauricio Lozano and Alicia Medina, who were up to their eyeballs in the hard work of finishing a brewery that took them a year and a half to build. During the tour, Alicia had mentioned with no small amount of enthusiasm the kombucha she was making. She was calling it Oddity, and there’s been a dedicated tap pouring the delicious stuff at Faculty since the start (she makes three flavours – Jasmine Tea. Elderberry. Ginger-Lemongrass – plus seasonals). Nine months later, just when things have calmed down for them a bit (despite some recent love in Vogue), Alicia has gone and secured the space directly across the street to produce and serve Oddity. Located at 1863 Ontario St. at 2nd Avenue, the 2,000 sqft facility is bigger than Faculty, with 400 sqft dedicated to a front of house 10 seat tasting room and retail operation. There will be some food options, likely coming from Vital Supply (replacing the recently shuttered Ed’s Daily in Strathcona), and she’s thinking about getting a liquor license down the road so the place – still unnamed – can also offer kombucha cocktails.
Alicia updated me on the concept, describing it to me more as a cafe than a tasting bar. In addition to glasses, growlers and flights of refreshing, gently effervescent kombucha (I’ve tried all three flavours; they’re delicious, especially the ginger-lemongrass!), the food options have been narrowed down to a selection of salads and three toast options: avocado, butter or hummus. The tea will be from Namaste. The coffee supplier is Bows x Arrows. Hours of operation are 10am to 7pm, Tuesday through Saturday.