Kapu Bar in Petaluma offers visitors a tropical escape

ByChris Bollini Localish logo
Wednesday, May 8, 2024
Local Tiki bar offers visitors a tropical escape
Great music, delicious island dishes, and colorful drinks await you at Kapu Bar in Petaluma.

PETALUMA, Calif. -- When you walk around the busy streets of downtown Petaluma, you may find a hidden, tropical escape waiting to be discovered. Walk through the doors of Kapu on Keller Street and you will enter a Tiki experience that will transport you to another place.

"It's that sense of being on a beach somewhere, lost in paradise, just stepping out of the norm, getting out of your normal routine," General Manager Mike Richardson explains.

"You feel warm. You feel sunny," regular Jennifer Brown reveals, "It's an escape. It's a really nice escape."

The colorful and cozy atmosphere makes visitors feel like they are enjoying an island getaway.

"What I see through other people's eyes is wonderment," Richardson says with a smile, "The same thing you see in a kid's eyes at Disneyland, that's what we are going for here."

A talented family with some impressive Tiki lineage built the amazing, detailed bar.

"My friend Bamboo Ben and his son, Blake; they came in and they did the main build out," Richardson retells, "and Bamboo Ben's Grandfather Eli; he did the Enchanted Tiki Room in Disneyland; he's just one the original founders of the TIki movement."

As for the food, Kapu serves up tasty dishes with an authentic island feel.

"When we first opened up, we had this amazing chef, Mike, who shared his family recipes with us because I really wanted to bring a taste of the islands over with us," Richardson says.

Some of their signature dishes are Adobo Fried Rice, Paka's Lumpia, and the Poke Wonton Chip Bowl.

"I wanted you to feel like you are at somebody's grandmother's house, sitting at the table and enjoying their food," Richardson adds.

The drink menu offers plenty of eye-catching, delicious drinks. Whether you order a Mai Tai, a Zombie or a Jasper's Punch, there is a refreshing sip in every glass.

"Most of these drinks came out of the Caribbean," Richardson shares, "There's spices. There's citrus."

"A little vacation in a glass," Brown adds.

"These are some the best drinks we've ever had," regular Mark Brown declares.

Kapu also offers different areas for you to explore. The "Big Trouble" room is a vibrant space covered in red and gold paint with large parade dragons hanging overhead and a line of vintage pinball machines.

"It's fun to play pinball. It takes you back to your youth," Jennifer Brown says.

If you are looking for a more intimate space, you can dine and drink in the Captain's Quarters.

"It's the inside of a ship," regular Gillian reveals.

"It works as a speakeasy, works for private events," Richardson says.

No matter where you sit, Kapu offers visitors an opportunity to strike up conversations with other guests.

"This is not a special occasion spot. This is your local bar," Richardson states.

"It's almost like 'Cheers'..., but it's a tropical 'Cheers,'" Brown says.

For more information, visit here.