Dig Inn Opens a Kombucha Bar in Union Square

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The restaurant's new 'Buch Bar—with four kombucha brews on tap—is the first of its kind in New York City.

Dig Inn opens a kombucha bar

On Monday, Dig Inn (formerly The Pump) will give customers coming in for their popular build-your-own marketplates something new to sip on.  The Union Square location will be debuting a kombucha bar, and pouring probiotic brews from Kombucha Brooklyn (KBBK).

Kombucha is served from kegs at various restaurants and bars in Brooklyn and Manhattan (and even as an alcoholic beverage in Queens), but Dig Inn's "'Buch Bar" is the first of its kind in New York.

Dig Inn's biggest competitor to date is Whole Foods Union Square, which serves a rival brand on tap out of its second floor cafe. Founder Adam Eskin says he's ready to give them a run for their money.

Eskin started thinking SCOBYs after his fresh-pressed juices became popular. The two juicers set up behind his 17th Street bar couldn't meet demand, so he moved juice production and bottling to its own space in Brooklyn, leaving an empty bar—and possibilities—behind.

"I started drinking kombucha, personally, and I thought KBBK was much tastier than the other products I'd tried," Eskin says. So, he got in touch with KBBK founder Eric Childs and formed a partnership.

The bar will feature four varieties on tap—currently Straight Up, Jasmine Green, Cherry, and Watermelon Twist—which will rotate with the seasons and availability. And Dig Inn patrons will be able to pair their plates with a glass of the fermented tea ($5.05) or grab a growler to go ($8.04) with their pint of brussel sprouts. "KBBK has a huge list of customers looking to fill growlers," says Eskin.

If he's right and the bar is a success, he's planning on building similar kombucha bars into the design of future Dig Inn locations. "It may ultimately turn into a bigger bar set up, with other options like artisanal sodas," Eskin says. "We'll start with this and see how it goes." —Lisa Elaine Held

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