Hey Hey Drinks in Echo Park
Fitting naturally into the bustling commercialism and culture on Sunset Boulevard in the heart of Echo Park, a sleek, blue neon sign invitingly reads ‘Hey Hey.’ If you aren’t paying close attention though, you could accidentally sneak past this new gem. Hey Hey is recessed from the street and the entrance is tucked behind a large and cozy indoor patio. When you find your way in, you will be enticed by the sweet mingling fragrances of teas, coffee, and herbs.
Hey Hey is no ordinary teashop. The vibe is high-end cocktail lounge meets community rec center meets mom-and-pop, old school soda counter. Board games line the walls and a single microphone in the middle of a makeshift stage waits patiently in one corner. Several customers take Polaroids of each other for a giant corkboard collage. Meanwhile, the whistle of a steaming kettle sounds as a barista puts the final touches on a decadent, multi-layered tea-cocktail. This is my kind of place!
Behind the Scenes at Hey Hey Drinks
I sit down with Chris Kwok, owner and imaginer of Hey Hey, over several colorful and unique varieties of tea-cocktails in tall sleek containers. Kwok, friendly and engaging, shared his experiences first as a student of architecture, then as an IT consultant for several years before coming up with the idea of Hey Hey. He quit his corporate job to work at cafes and Asian dessert shops while designing and conceptualizing his vision of a non-alcoholic bar with the feel of a neighborhood living room. “The idea is to be as comfortable and cozy as you would be in your friend’s living room, except you have bomb drinks here.”
And bomb drinks they are! With a menu organized into different sections, customers choose their drinks based on four categories. These are: Bold, Rich, Fresh, and Straight. The Fresh category features signature mocktails like The Breezy, which is a take on a virgin lime mojito. House favorite The Union is in the Bold Category. It’s a half tea, half coffee swirl with homemade sea salt cream. Yum.
Hey Hey and Community
To increase the feeling of community for its official opening on April 7, Hey Hey hosted a 20/20 promotional challenge. If you walked up to a stranger and said “Hey,” then ordered a drink with your new friend, you both would receive a 20% discount on drinks. With promos like this, along with acoustic evenings, game nights, and endless activities in a non-alcoholic lounge that is both kid- and dog-friendly, Hey Hey is the perfect spot to bring your crew or make new friends.
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Brett Fleisher is a filmmaker, yogi, musician, and world traveler.