Buddhist monks bless Adrift

Bless the beasts and the children...and Adrift. Yes, that's correct: This morning, three Buddhist monks from a monastery in Parker sat side by side on a chartreuse banquette at Adrift, the tiki bar that will open this week on South Broadway, and chanted, blessing the new space and wishing it years of good karma. Adrift co-owner Jay Dedrick, a practicing Buddhist and the owner of Denver's quintet of Swing Thai restaurants, has asked Buddhist monks to bless all of his restaurants, and today, in a small ceremony surrounded by family members, close friends and several Adrift employees, the three monks engaged the crowd in a sacred string ceremony. "It's like having a new house," says Jessica Krahomwong, a Buddhist and employee of the Swing Thai on Alameda. "You can compare it to a housewarming party. The monks are bringing prosperity and good fortune to this life and the next life." The prayers, chanted in Sanskrit, "asked the angels and spirits to bless the restaurant and be kind to us," adds Dedrick, who returned the monks's gratitude by offering them a feast of Thai dishes, all served in bowls accompanied by dana: gift baskets with such basic living necessities as toilet paper, detergent, cooking essentials, meditation candles and toenail clippers. "We gave them things to sustain them," says Dedrick, adding that monks are prohibited from shopping, working, growing their own food, storing their own provisions or cooking their own meals. They may, however, accept food that's been brought to them. The dimly lit ceremony, which perfumed the room with incense, lasted about an hour and ended with "blessed water," is a pre-cursor to tonight's first friends-and-family gathering at Adrift, which will have a second trial run tomorrow night before opening to the public later this week. "We hope that Jay and his business do very, very well," says Krahomwong.

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