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The lights are flashing in downtown Waikiki

The Five-O Bar and Lounge has it all under control

A new bar recently celebrated with a blessing and grand opening in the food court area of the Royal Hawaiian Center. Owned and operated by locals, the bar brings the feel of Hawaii with specialized drinks concocted just for them, a wait staff that is friendly and responsive, and local bands that play what likes to be heard. When I went for the opening I realized that it’d been quite a while since I was up in the food court area, and if bar like this was there then, my husband would have been a lot happier that afternoon. In a turnaround from what you usually know about some Hawaiian eateries where they allow BYOB, this lounge allows you to bring your own food in. It’s separated nicely from the rest of the food court with handsome bamboo, while it’s interior has a bar, tables and booth-like seating, decorated in a ‘modern Hawaii’ style. And being situated on the end of the building, it’s nice lanai has covered seating and views of the Center. This would be a great place to sit during lunch. With happy hour 11am to 6pm, it could be a quick casual stop- in for a beverage with your take out lunch, so you can quickly get back out to the beach or shopping.

interior – exterior – staff – band.

Every bar needs its signature, and this bar has the flashing beer tower. Chilled by an interior ice cube core, the 60 or 80 oz (the latter with flashing lights) cylinder of beer comes to the table with a spout and glasses. While I was there, these were obvious favorites of the crowd, as tower after tower went out from the bar. Priced at $25 and $30, it’s a fun way to serve the whole table. The cocktails were attractive and different. I was told a mixologist was brought in to give the drinks their special twist, and a look at their drink menu offers some standards and those with more flair. With names like Da White Hawaiian , Over Proofed Blue Hawaii, and Mango Serrano Margarita (made with fresh muddled mango) Certain cocktails during happy hour are $5, wine is $4, and draft is $3. Very reasonable for right in the heart of Waikiki.

beer towers – fresh mango – the blessing.

The far end of the bar has a built in stage, set nicely apart from the seating area so when live entertainment is on, no one gets hit hard with loud speakers. I find that to be important when eating and drinking. So you can talk too. The management has booked a local band Breath of Fire for live entertainment and for now this group will be a regular. Billed as a self produced group playing reggae and rock, they proved during the opening they also play toned down music. Quite nice for a Saturday afternoon mixed crowd.

Video: Traditional Hawaiian blessing of the bar – flashing tower of beer

The bar’s owner, Ted Davenport, and manager, Al Souza are local guys with hospitality experience and a family to back them in this newest endeavor. I can see them keeping an eye on the ‘pulse’ of the local community to offer them a reason to visit downtown Waikiki, while also serving the needs of visitors from all over.

Posted by: Bruce Fisher on Aug 14, 2011