Friendly environment awaits at Bob’s Sports Bar
Bet you didn't know that Bob's Sports Bar used to be a fast food restaurant back in the day, long before drinks of the alcoholic variety were ever served there.
Bob's Sports Bar
Location: 170 Hamakua Drive
Hours: 10 a.m. to 2 a.m. daily
If I remember correctly, the building used to be occupied by Jack-in-the-Box, which already had an established location (that remains open to this day) just a few blocks away. The space remained vacant for years, before Hawaii's economy recovered enough to encourage new investment.
Enter Bob's Sports Bar, a comfortable middle-of-the-road spot that's not as rowdy as nearby Boardriders Bar and Grill or straight-laced as Lucy's Grill and Bar. Take the time to search out this Windward watering hole, and you'll discover a number of features that make it attractive to neighborhood folks as well as residents from other parts of Oahu.
CALLING THIS place a sports bar is a bit misleading, although it's entirely possible to stop in and catch a game.
You won't find a screen bigger than 27 inches among the four televisions here, but at least customers can watch Monday Night Football live instead of tape-delayed. Most of the seating consists of wooden barstools, more than a dozen of which are located at the bar itself. There's also an outdoor area filled with plastic lawn furniture.
Back inside, a pair of pool tables are set up in the middle of the room, although only one seemed to be working properly last week. Two dart machines sit in a corner, but again, only one appeared to work. There's also a jukebox, but I didn't see a single Megatouch machine.
Maybe that's a town thing, providing an alternative to actually having a conversation with another person. One aspect about grabbing a drink in Kailua I like is that everyone stops to talk story for a bit. Bob's Sports Bar is no exception.
RICHARD WALKER / RWALKER@STARBULLETIN.COM
Patrons flock to the bar at Bob's Sports Bar on Hamakua Drive in Kailua to watch a live feed of Monday Night Football.
GETTING BACK to that lanai I mentioned earlier - there aren't a lot of bars on Oahu that offer an outdoor area conducive to drinking, but Bob's is definitely one of them. More than a dozen tables (including four Rubbermaid picnic tables located on an adjacent wood deck) provide lots of space to sit, and the bar is located in an area far away from residents' homes. Live music is a no-brainer here.
And you wouldn't realize it by just looking at the place, but Bob's Sports Bar offers a Mexican food menu. Just keep in mind that the kitchen closes at 9 p.m. At least employees are accommodating enough to allow outside food late at night.
While there might be more drinking options in town, Kailua does a good job at providing something for everyone. Thanks to its friendly staff, laid-back clientele and outside lanai, Bob's Sports Bar is a solid choice if you're looking for someplace off the beaten path.
How much for a Bud Light?
The Barfly drank $2.75 bottles of Bud Light at Bob's Sports Bar. More than a half-dozen taps provide draft beer options as well.
Get things to do?
A couple of pool tables and dart machines provide entertainment inside, while a performance space is set up outside among the plastic lawn chairs and picnic tables.
What about the grinds?
I'm told the kitchen at Bob's Sports Bar serves Mexican food, but only stays open until 9 p.m. each night. Unless you're planning to stop for pau hana immediately after making the journey across the Koolaus, be sure to grab a bite to eat before you visit.
And the help?
As always, Kailua provides some of the best customer service I've found while knocking a few back. I had no problem grabbing a beer at the bar, even though most of the seats were occupied by regulars.
Barfly appears every Friday in Star-Bulletin Weekend. E-mail Jason Genegabus at firstname.lastname@example.org
with suggestions of neighborhood bars to visit.