Opened on March 19th, 2022 in what had been known previously as the old TheaterNOW building.
This venue bills itself as an "Adventure Bar" which incorporates some aspects of tiki decor besides just the cocktails, but also includes a Cabinet of Curiosities vibe with artifacts from all corners of the world as one would expect to find in an old-school adventurer's club.
From The Sorrow Drowner:
"Once you cross the threshold, you will be transported into the classic era of Exploration. The Lemurian Institute, a global leader in history and exploration, led by its founder, Edward Bartholomew Wheatley the Third, have assembled a team of the finest adventurers and scholars from around the globe. What happens behind the doors of the Institute has been a question for decades; however, as the old saying goes, 'When the Machairodus Kabir is away, the Indefatigable Galapagos Mice will play!'
Enter The Sorrow Drowners!
This rag-tag group of individuals, nicknamed for their near nightly revelries, keep the Institute running while the Board of Directors are out exploring! Many of these acolytes pine to be in the field but have yet to pay their dues. Instead, they stay behind to research and catalogue the variety of artifacts sent home by the Institutes elite expedition teams and partners worldwide. Due to all the doldrums of lab work, an informal vote was taken and the Sorrow Drowners have decided to open the doors of the Institute to all of YOU! (Truth be told, its mostly because theyd prefer the chance to speak to someone that isnt 2000 years old.) Just dont tell E.B.!
Once inside, you will be welcomed with open arms into 'The Grand Marae', the meeting hall in the Institute typically used for lectures, but sans supervision the dais has been co-opted into a space for members and a variety of entertainers to perform! Books and notes have been pushed into corners to make room for you in the Library and you have been granted access to the secretive Director E.B. Wheatley IIIs office to view his personal collection. Most importantly, they saved you a seat at the bar as they serve up drinks a tad bit stronger than Lemonade!
So prepare yourself, The Sorrow Drowners welcome you!
Owned and operated by The Lemurian Institute, Inc., wholly owned by North Carolina Native Alfred Brian Wheatley and designed by former Disney Imagineer Brandon Kleyla, aka Trader Brandon, whose resume includes attractions worldwide and is perhaps best known for his work on both Trader Sam's Tiki Bars in Anaheim, Ca and Orlando, Fl. You will want to spend hours here just looking at all the artifacts from around the world and to allow yourself to get lost in the story.
'People love being able to escape, to get lost in an experience, and thats what were doing here,' says Brandon. 'Were stepping out of the framework of a traditional Tiki bar and delivering a much larger experience, set in the golden age of adventure. The age of Earhart, Bingham, Carter, and Bird.'
'My whole life, I was always on the hunt for adventure! I havent climbed Mount Everest or Walked the Plains of the Serengeti, but when I couldnt there were movies that could,' says Alfred Brian Wheatley, proprietor of the Sorrow Drowner. 'It was in these films that I found myself enthralled and, when presented with the opportunity to create this experience, it was these films that guided my hand. It is my wish to bring a space permeated with that sense of adventure to Wilmington.'
The Sorrow Drowner will feature a large menu of classic craft cocktails from classic tiki faire to drinks from around the world as well as a menu of island favorites. Select Evenings, the stage will come alive with a Vaudeville Style Revue featuring a variety of acts as well as an interactive cast of wandering comedic characters. Our hope is to provide the city of Wilmington and Coastal North Carolina with an ever-changing experience that youll want to visit again and again!"