The story of Bhavana began in December 2013 when Patrick came to dinner at Bida Manda, our sister Laotian restaurant next door. He and his wife, Aubrey, had recently finished their time in the Peace Corps by traveling through Laos and much of Southeast Asia. On a short visit with his parents in Raleigh, Patrick was surprised to find a Laotian restaurant, so he booked a table, pulled us aside, and excitedly shared a few pictures from Luang Prabang, where we grew up. Delighted with the serendipity of that night, we exchanged phone numbers and kept in touch. Little did we know that the brief encounter would turn into a remarkable journey toward Bhavana.
Patrick was an insatiable homebrewer. We started dreaming together about a small craft brewery, one that would emphasize grace, nuance, intention and the sort of generous hospitality we long to experience at beer bars. In Patrick’s beers, so elegant and subtle, you can taste the hand of the maker. Each one feels like getting to know him. What food could we possibly pair with those beers? And what design? Where else was the hand of the maker so intimately and earnestly felt?
The more we dreamt, the bigger our dreams became. We wanted Deana’s flowers and Monica’s books, Jordan’s cocktails and our favorite Dim Sum cuisine. We carefully curated each ingredient and offering. We poured ourselves into the smallest spaces, choosing every light bulb, every tabletop and chair so that each tangible part of 218 Blount Street became a loving frame for their makers and their art.
It is our hope that Bhavana becomes a living room for the people we love to create, collaborate, and dream. Perhaps our walls will offer you the same reprieve.