First Call: Herbal Remedies at Fu Kun Wu

Jake making me his Oolong Tea-ni
The Watering Hole: Fu Kun Wu, 5410 Ballard Ave. NW. BALLARD

The Atmosphere: Hidden in the back of the neighborhood's Thaiku restaurant, it appears as if a handful of sleepy locals occupy the long U-shaped bar at the top of a staircase. Upon further examination, however, curious patrons come to realize that it's not the quiet atmosphere keeping everyone in tune with their inner zen, but the herbal infused concoctions overseen by Buddha figures and antique Chinese statues. Not to mention, the lounge has a second, secret addition in its basement that used to serve as an underground opium retreat before its current state as a storage room and private party space.

The Barkeep: Jake McBreen, a Tacoma native who decided to switch venues from the rowdy High Dive to what many of his clients refer to as the "Fukun Wu." The condensed version of the name indicates a specialty in strong remedies other than your typical whiskey straight-up.

This isn't your typical doctor's visit

The Drink: The Oolong Tea-ni consisting of black tea infused with vodka, and shaken with lemon and sugar--perfect for someone unsure about the Wu's other cocktails containing the African herb Yohimbe (known to be an aphrodisiac, stimulant, and hallucinogen). But to Jake, the herb's effects could only be described as the perfect date drink. He states: "Before there was Viagra, there was Yohimbe."

The Verdict: Unlike many fruity cocktails, the Oolong Tea-ni grants complete hydration. Think grandmother's ice tea served in a fancy martini glass with a splash of lemonade. Sure, you might not feel like the champion for passing up Jake's "little blue pill" of Yohimbe, but rest assured, the Oolong Tea-ni is an all-around crowd pleaser. For some regulars, it's simply the eerie atmosphere that keeps them hooked. Frequent visitor "TWard" explained, "When you walk in here, it's like you stepped into the other side."

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