Nov 3, 2023 - Food and Drink

Nashville saké bar Rice Vice expanding to New Orleans

Photo: Alex Crawford/Courtesy of Proper Saké

Nashville's craft saké bar Rice Vice is leveling up with the addition of a second location in New Orleans.

Zoom in: The new spot — which owner Byron Stithem says will be called Rice Vice, part II — will open in the Algiers Point neighborhood of New Orleans in the first quarter of 2024.

  • Rice Vice serves sakés from around the world, but its primary function is as a tasting room for Stithem's brewery Proper Saké.
  • Earlier this year, Rice Vice, which relocated in 2022 to its current location off of Trinity Lane, was named one of the best bars in the U.S.

Why it matters: There are precious few saké breweries in the country, so a second Rice Vice location featuring Proper Saké counts as a win for Stithem's mission to expand the reach of the Japanese drink.

  • The expansion also scores a win for Nashville's growing craft brewing and distilling scene.

What he's saying: Since he opened his saké brewery seven years ago, Stithem says he's learned a lesson about how to "demystify" saké for people who have never tried it before.

  • "The best way to win people over is to pour them a saké in person," Stithem tells Axios.
  • His secret weapon to building a loyal following in Nashville is his smart and friendly bar team (hi to Axios Nashville's favorite bartender, Courtney!). He plans the same approach in New Orleans.

Happening this weekend: Rice Vice has a busy weekend planned. Tonight, they will offer a cheese and saké pairing in partnership with Greys Fine Cheese.

  • On Saturday, chef Son Pham will be cooking "elevated Vietnamese comfort stylings" to go along with live music outdoors for a sort of fall Rice Fest.

Go deeper: Read the NOLA.com story about the new Rice Vice location

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