This 4/20 will welcome a cannabis consumption lounge, spa, and tasting room to Eureka, California.
Papa & Barkley Social is the new weed consumption space from the minds of cannabis wellness brand Papa & Barkley and Northern California restaurant group Humboldt Social. Expect a soft opening party on April 20, 2021, with a grand opening on May 6, 2021. Patrons 21-and-up will find a unique cannabis hospitality concept with a curated dispensary plus luxury day spa, food truck, and yes, a legal, social-distanced outdoor cannabis consumption lounge.
The 7,000-square-foot lounge and dispensary is located inside Papa & Barkley’s massive production and manufacturing space. The space was a labor of love: Papa & Barkley reconstructed a shuttered K-Mart, turning it into a high-tech, flourishing cannabis production facility. And now, a dispensary storefront and tasting room.
“Papa & Barkley was lucky enough, with the help of the city of Eureka, to free up this space,” says Guy Rocourt, Co-Founder & Chief Product Officer at Papa & Barkley. “As you know, throughout our country, big box stores are closing. We were able to work with the city to move the coastal zone line. When we purchased this old K-Mart, we rehabed it, and alongside it was a garden center. Sealing it in for manufacturing didn’t seem like the right thing to do. John O’Connor, our Chief Compliance Officer at the time, said ‘we should do a dispensary here.’ The storefront and consumption lounge will be in what used to be the garden center.”
As they enter the space, “Cannabis Concierge” specialists will welcome consumers to the wellness storefront. One can purchase offerings including merchandise and CBD products. Then, the retail space will flow into the dispensary where Papa & Barkley will sell their own product lineup as well as a variety of California brands. “We are starting and launching with three female-led farms,” says Rocourt. “Small craft farmers need to be empowered now, at that top tier.” The local Humboldt cannabis farms featured during Papa & Barkley Social’s initial launch are Sunrise Mountain Farm, Emerald Queen Farms, and DewPoint Farms.
“We want to support these local farms now because those locals farms have supported us for decades,” says Humboldt Social Co-Founder Amy Cirincione O’Connor. Her company is part of a movement that seeks to normalize and integrate cannabis into hospitality. “Cannabis has saved the food and beverage industry in this region,” she says. “Folks went and trimmed in the field, they subsidized their income so that they could survive. Now that our bars and restaurants are reopening, there is a lot of space for food, beverage, and cannabis to collaborate.”
Behind the dispensary storefront is a spa activation. Guests will be able to experience topical massages, scalp massages, and more using cannabinoid-rich products containing both THC and CBD. Fire pits and group-seated areas will separate customers. The lounge will be walk-up, to start, but a reservation queue may be possible down the line.
“As you go outside, we framed in the garden center with plants, a food truck called The Pig and Leaf, and an outdoor consumption area,” says Rocourt. “For too long, we’ve been trapped in grandma’s basement with our friends. Now you can enjoy cannabis fully in the light, if you will.”
There will be a dwelling fee or “corkage fee” (cost yet to be announced) where consumers can pay to come and sit while bringing along their own cannabis. You can enjoy the lounge after buying cannabis from the dispensary, as well. “We’re going to start simple,” says Rocourt
Is the tasting room aesthetic inspired by a wine tasting experiences the region is so well-known for? “In Humboldt County, we are really looking to the wine country model,” Cirincione O’Connor says. “Papa & Barkley is a beautiful example of a cannabis company that is at the forefront of integrating cannabis into wellness.”
Thanks to her restaurant group experience, Cirincione O’Connor is well-versed in following California’s strict, safety-tier regulations. The same adaptability transferred to setting up the Papa & Barkley Social’s consumption space. Cleaning protocol, social distancing measures, and certification with the county were all necessary before the lounge could open its doors.
Cirincione O’Connor is proud of the Papa & Barkley Social space that will welcome travelers to Eureka. “It is potentially some people’s first intro to Eureka, it’s one of the first significant buildings you see as you enter Eureka. We have found that having a big, outdoor space during the pandemic, with a big lounge area, able to seat people 20 to 25 feet apart, has been a really valuable, marketable service,” she says. “When you have a lot of outdoor space, you can have a lot people and not feel crowded.”
The Papa & Barkley team is looking forward to having this unique space to celebrate the high holiday, especially after missing out on 4/20 last year. The infamous date still proved to be lucrative for sales, but event spaces and the hard-fought consumption spaces were not operating. 2021 is a different story. “4/20 will be Papa & Barkley-centric,” says Rocourt. “We do have a collaboration with our sub-brand Papa’s Select and a special 4/20 partnership with El Blunto cannagars. You will see people lounging with their cannagars.”