Poppy’s Coffee and Espresso Bar

When you walk into Poppy’s Coffee and Espresso Bar, Desperate Housewives’ Wisteria Lane comes to mind, sans the huge silver spoon hanging on the wall. (Bree Van de Kamp might not approve of that.) A quaint homey atmosphere reveals itself through the shiny wooden floors and furniture and the island-lifestyle paintings that hang about the sunny yellow walls.

Wake up to a cup (or two) of coffee from Poppy’s. The chai spice cake was delish!

But it’s that smiling couple behind the counter that really invites customers into the shop on Keeaumoku Street in Honolulu, just minutes from Ala Moana Shopping Center. Richard “Poppy” Holloway and his wife Tina have more than 25 years of experience in the restaurant and hospitality industry and share a passion for a good cup of coffee. Let’s just say they’re almost as sweet as the freshly-baked cupcakes and pastries they make, with Poppy himself stopping to make small talk with the customers.

You could just see behind those metal frames of his glasses just how proud Poppy was of his wife’s baking expertise, telling us that the chai spice cake frosting we were about to dig into to had been one of her most recent concoctions. I’d say it turned out to be a successful one and a perfect blend of sweetness that gave the slice an extra kick. Served on classy porcelain plates that very well could be a part of Bree’s home decor, the chai spice cake went well with the raspberry mocha and cappuccino we also ordered.

Eye-popping sweet treats at Poppy’s to make your taste buds go bonkers!

Almost everything in Poppy’s is made fresh from Hawaii, including the Royal Kona Coffee used in all hot and cold coffee and espresso drinks. They have a cute little selection of cupcakes – chocolate s’more, vanilla, red velvet and lemon drop, as well as homemade muffins. Even their panini sandwiches include locally-grown herbs and spices.

Despite being across the street from Starbucks, Poppy’s does very well and has a constant stream of customers going in and out of its little store. The prices are very reasonable, with a cup of coffee starting at $1.69 and a bagel only costing $1.49 a piece. And you can’t beat the mellow vibe inside, compared to, say, Starbucks. Mamas and babies, grandpas and grandmas and the youthful intellects. Oh, and did I mention happy hour, from 5 to 8 p.m.? Half off espressos and coffee!

We’ll just let the mugs speak for themselves.

POPPY’S COFFEE AND ESPRESSO BAR • 745 Keeaumoku St., Honolulu, HI 96814 • Opens Mon-Fri 630am-6pm, Sat 7am-5pm • 808-941-8285 • www.poppyscoffee.com • Free parking; Near bus route

Photo Credit: Noa Myers

Posted by: Bruce Fisher