Nightlife in Honolulu features a nice mix of relaxed venues and a few luxurious options if that’s what you’re looking for. Quite a few places serve food as well, from casual pub fare to creative menus designed to pair with drink selections.

A fruit-garnished cocktail on an outdoor table at sunset.

Photo © Igor Shestakov/123rf.

Chinatown

On Nuuanu Avenue, The Dragon Upstairs (1038 Nuuanu Ave., 808/526-1411, 7pm-2am) is a warm and classy jazz club located above Hank’s Café. They also feature world music. For a different beat, check out O’Toole’s Irish Pub (902 Nuuanu Ave., 808/536-4138, 10am-2am daily). The pub has live Irish, folk, and reggae music and is also a cigar bar where smoking is allowed inside.

On Bethel Street you’ll find Bambu Two Cafe (1144 Bethel St., 808/528-1144, 2pm-2am Mon.-Sat.), a café and martini bar with indoor and outdoor seating. They serve $3.50 martinis all day, every day.

Manifest is a sophisticated cocktail bar after dark and a venue for artists of all mediums.On Hotel Street, check out Thirtyninehotel (39 N. Hotel St., 808/599-2552, 4pm-2am Tues.-Sat.). This upstairs art gallery and indoor/outdoor bar serves tapas and is a great place to relax outside and listen to live music or DJs. Right next door on the street level is the aptly named Nextdoor (43 N. Hotel St., 808/548-6398, 8pm-2am Wed.-Sat.). A two-story combination nightclub and creative arts venue, Nextdoor is as versatile as its acts, ranging from a cinema house to a dance hall, but it’s best known as a music venue. There are full-service bars upstairs and downstairs, with VIP bottle service and table reservations upstairs.

Also on the same block is Bar 35 (35 N. Hotel St., 808/537-3535, 4pm-2am Mon.-Fri., 6pm-2am Sat.), a warm and modern spot featuring hundreds of international beers, indoor and patio bars, daily happy hour specials, DJs, and live music. They also have table reservations and bottle service, and serve fusion-gourmet pizzas and simple tapas. Manifest (32 N. Hotel St., 808/523-7575, 8am-10pm Mon., 8am-2am Tues.-Fri., 10am-2am Sat.) also holds valuable real estate on Hotel Street. A coffee shop by day, Manifest is a sophisticated cocktail bar after dark and a venue for artists of all mediums. Live music includes hip-hop, bluegrass, punk, and everything in between.

Map of Honolulu's Chinatown

Honolulu Chinatown

Kaka‘ako

Pint + Jigger (1936 S. King St., 808/744-9593, 4:30pm-midnight Sun. and Tues.-Thurs., 9am-1:30am Fri.-Sat.) is a modern public house offering creative pairings of cuisine, beer, and cocktails within a relaxed atmosphere. Along with 21 beers on tap and specialty cocktails, the menu changes to reflect the selection of libations.

Ala Moana

On the Ho‘okipa Terrace is a lively open-air bar called the Mai Tai Bar (1450 Ala Moana Blvd., 808/947-2900, 11am-1am daily). They offer daily pau hana specials (4pm-7pm), nightly happy hour pricing (9:30pm-12:30am), and beer specials all day during football season. The appetizers and entrées have local flair, and they also have island-style live music for happy hour every night (8pm-11pm).

Rumors (410 Atkinson Dr., 808/955-4811, 5pm-3am Fri-Sat.), located in the Ala Moana Hotel, has a more relaxed atmosphere focusing on the music and dancing. They play everything from hip-hop to hits of the ’70s, ’80s, and ’90s.


Excerpted from the First Edition of Moon Hawaiian Islands.