Bethany Clough

Ever heard of buzz buttons? Think zombies, Pop Rocks and this Tower pop-up bar

Buzz buttons like these make a person’s mouth tingle and water when eaten. They will be sold in cocktails at a pop-up bar in the Tower District.
Buzz buttons like these make a person’s mouth tingle and water when eaten. They will be sold in cocktails at a pop-up bar in the Tower District. Fresno Zombie Society

It’s weird enough that there’s a temporary bar in the Tower District with a Tim Burton theme.

Dubbed “Deadly Nightshade: a Burtonesque Art Bar,” the bar is named after the director of “Edward Scissorhands” and “Beetlejuice.” It had a two-day run last weekend and happens again starting at 8 p.m. this Friday, Feb. 8 and Saturday, Feb. 9.

It’s at 809 E. Olive Ave., in space that’s part of the Tower Theatre building.

It’s put on by the Fresno Zombie Society, which hosts bar crawls in the Tower where people dress up as zombies or Star Wars characters.

People are actually dressing up as characters from Burton’s movies, like the women who showed up with fake scissors as hands (like Edward Scissorhands had) and the human ragdoll Sally from “The Nightmare Before Christmas.”

But the really oddball part is what they’re putting in some of their drinks.

It’s called a buzz button.

buzzybutton.jpg
“Buzz buttons” are little flowers that create a tingling and numbing sensation when eaten. A temporary Tower District bar is putting them in cocktails this weekend. Fresno Zombie Society Facebook.

It’s a little flower bud that grows on an herb and is sometimes called a Szechuan button or an electric daisy. It creates a party in your mouth when eaten.

Here’s what Liquor.com has to say about it: “When consumed, it releases a naturally occurring alkaloid that produces a strong numbing or tingling sensation in the mouth, followed by excessive salivation and then a cooling feeling in the throat. It gives a whole new meaning to the word mouthfeel.”

One story compared it to Pop Rocks. A online seller says it’s part of the sunflower family and was once used to treat toothaches.

It interacts with the flavors and temperatures of the drink, making for an experience that’s definitely different.

The bar sold out of the buzz buttons during its first weekend run. They got more, but get there early if you want one.

Bethany Clough covers restaurants and retail for The Fresno Bee. A reporter for 20 years, she now works to answer readers’ questions about business openings, closings and other business news. She has a degree in journalism from Syracuse University and her last name is pronounced Cluff.
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