Honey’s hosts living legends of Hawaiian music
You've got to wonder how many times Mike Kaawa's heard phrases like "Are you kidding me?" and "I must be dreaming" since he started playing at Honey's in 2004.
Honey's at Ko'olau Golf Club
Location: 45-550 Kionaole Road
Hours: 7:30 a.m. Mondays to Thursdays, and 7 a.m. Fridays to Sundays; closing times vary
Call: 236-4653, ext. 231
There aren't many places left on Oahu where musicians can experience a true jam session. Sure, there are open mic nights. With a slick demo CD and a little luck, local bands can usually find someplace to play.
But a regular spot where those in the know always remember to bring an instrument of some sort? Where living legends kick back with rising stars and suck 'em up in a room full of aloha?
E komo mai, e noho mai, e wala'au. Welcome to Honey's at Ko'olau Golf Club.
THE HARDEST part about spending a Sunday afternoon with Kaawa and the rest of his band, the Hawaiian Boy Crew, is navigating the street that leads to the golf course. Kionaole Road is full of twists and turns, and it's even less fun to travel in the dark.
Once you've parked and found your way to Honey's through the expansive clubhouse, get ready for an exercise in brilliant simplicity. Kaawa sits barefoot in a chair borrowed from a nearby table, peering from behind dark glasses to give the local-kine eyebrow-raise greeting to friends and family.
To his left, bassist Analu Aina plucks away as he did alongside Uncle Moe Keale and Israel Kamakawiwo'ole. Peter Moon Band fans will recognize Ocean Kaowili, the Honolulu firefighter and accomplished slack-key guitarist who does most of the talking between songs. Paul Kim is the youngster in the group -- and resident yodeler.
An impressive mix of people make up the crowd here, and most are savvy enough to show up on time for the weekly gig. The advertised starting time is 3 p.m. on Sundays, and you'll be hard-pressed to find an empty seat if you get there any later than 4 p.m.
FL MORRIS / FMORRIS@STARBULLETIN.COM
On any given Sunday at Honey's at Ko'olau Golf Club, renowned Hawaiian musicians take the stage. Recently, from left, Eddie Kamae, Mike Kaawa and Analu Aina performed.
SOME OF you may be thinking to yourselves at this point, "OK, so it's a kanikapila at Honey's in Kaneohe. Isn't there a Don Ho connection somewhere in there?"
Bonus points if you know Ho's mother is in fact the watering hole's namesake; her portrait hangs prominently near the L-shaped bar wedged in a corner.
The rest of the walls here are lined with a who's who of the Hawaii music scene. Pictures of entertainers including Loyal Garner, Cyril Pahinui, Carole Kai, Melveen Leed and Brother Noland crowd the walls. You could easily spend a good half-hour examining them all, but then you'd be standing in the way of other people trying to enjoy the music.
And who needs pictures when you've got the legendary Eddie Kamae in the house? Uncle Eddie has the biggest table in the room, where he sits with friends before jumping in for a few songs alongside Kaawa and crew. He's also very gracious with fans, always stopping to shake hands and sign autographs while moving about the room.
THE CHICKEN-SKIN moments, however, don't start until 5 p.m. or so.
By then, Uncle Eddie has already played a few songs and is back at his table, sipping a glass of merlot. More often than not, a second band has arrived for the coveted between-sets slot, before the Hawaiian Boy Crew returns to play until last call at 7 p.m.
You'll find yourself sitting among Na Hoku Hanohano Award winners, waiting for a turn to jam, along with some of the most talented hula dancers in the state. Owana Salazar and Ledward Ka'apana arrived within minutes of each other one Sunday earlier this month, with Ka'apana's sisters Rhoda and Lei also making an appearance.
"That's the goal, bringing the picture wall to life," said one Honey's regular. "If they're still alive, then they've been here."
How much for a Bud Light?
The Barfly paid $3.25 for a bottle of Bud Light. Pitchers are also available for $12.
Get things to do?
If you're at Honey's on a Sunday afternoon, forget about the big screen on one wall and the smaller televisions scattered throughout the room. It's all about the music here.
What about the grinds?
Lunch is served until 4 p.m., an added incentive to show up early. Ahi sashimi ($11.99) and ahi poke ($8.99) are favorites, as is the Honey's Burger ($6.99) and mahi sandwich ($7.99). A limited pupu menu is available from 4 p.m. to closing.
And the help?
There aren't a lot of seats at the bar itself, but you're in for the ride of your life if there's one available when Uncle Flash is working. Yep, that's his smiling face on a plaque proclaiming him "Bartender of the Year," and he's got jokes for days. This guy is the kind of bartender who has probably seen and heard it all, and is more than willing to share his stories if you've got the time to listen. And all the while, he's paying attention to make sure your beer bottle never quite reaches empty. What a guy!
BACK TO TOP
Your weekend guide to nightlife and clubbing on Oahu
Boardriders Bar and Grill
201-A Hamakua Dr. / 261-4600
"Menage Party," 10 p.m.
Mister Meaner, 10 p.m.
"Service Industry Night," 10 p.m.
Wednesday: "Red Stripe Reggae Night" with Maka and the I-Sight Band, 10 p.m.
Ward Centre / 593-0088
"Rockstar Fridays" with VJ Entertainment and the Stone Groove Family, 10 p.m. 18+
"Refresh" with DJs Revise, Ny$e, Jami, Abe1and Marloca, 10 p.m.
Wednesday: Andy Bumatai, 8:30 p.m. $10.
Chai's Island Bistro
Aloha Tower Marketplace / 585-0011
Nathan Aweau, 6:45 p.m.
Azure McCall, 6:45 p.m.
"NJoy," 10 p.m.
Na Palapalai, 6:30 p.m.
Monday: Jerry Santos, Hoku Zuttermeister and Brian Tolentino, 6:45 p.m.
Tuesday: Robert Cazimero, 6:45 p.m.
98-150 Kaonohi St. / 488-2439
Kapena, 9 p.m. $5.
Hulili, 9 p.m. $5.
Wendesday: "Oldies Night" with Wasabi, 8 p.m.
Detox Sports and Entertainment Club
1192 Alakea St. / 526-0200
Missing Dave, 3SM and Zoundbox, 10 p.m. 18+
The Crud, Malcognitas, Last in Line and MVA, 10 p.m. $5. 18+
Wednesday: "Deep," 10 p.m.
Thursday: "The Block," 10 p.m.
Don Ho's Island Grill
Aloha Tower Marketplace / 528-0807
Guy Imoto, 5 p.m.
Barry Choy, 5 p.m.
"Al Waterson & You Karaoke Contest," 6 p.m.
Tuesday: Iolani Kamau'u, 5 p.m.
Thursday: Alika Souza, 5 p.m.
Duke's Canoe Club
Outrigger Waikiki Hotel / 922-2268
Maunalua, 4 p.m.
Kapena, 4 p.m.
Henry Kapono, 4 p.m.
Monday through Wednesday: Jonah Cummings, 4 to 6 p.m. and 10 p.m. to midnight.
Thursday through Sunday: Haumea Warrington, 10 p.m. to midnight.
Puck's Alley / 952-6555
Emerald House, 9 p.m.
"Karaoke Night," 10 p.m.
Wednesday: "Wipeout Wednesdays" with DJ Troy Michael, 10 p.m.
Thursday: "Karaoke Night," 10 p.m.
Fashion 45 Nightclub
Waikiki Trade Center / 922-4599
"Pussycat Lounge" with Matty Boy and Flash, 10 p.m.
"Saturday Nights @ Fashion 45" with DJs KT, Sandman, G-Spot and K-Smooth, 10 p.m.
"Refine," 10 p.m.
Wednesday: "Runway Wednesdays," 10 p.m.
Thursday: "Twisted Thursdays," 10 p.m.
Aloha Tower Marketplace / 599-4877
Guy Cruz, 5:30 p.m.
Eight-0-Eight, 9 p.m.
Resistor, 8 p.m.
Wednesday: Guy Cruz, 5:30 p.m.
Thursday: Ben, Maila and Albert, 7 p.m.
766 Kapahulu Ave. / 735-4292
Kamau, 9 p.m.
The Girlas, 9 p.m.
Tuesday: Ernie Cruz, Jr., 9 p.m.
Wednesday: Justin Murata, 9 p.m.
Hula's Bar and Lei Stand
134 Kapahulu Ave. / 923-0669
"Pau Hana Martini Sunset Fridays," 3 p.m.
Go-Go Dancers, 10:30 p.m.
Go-Go Dancers, 10 p.m.
"Double Double Sundaze," 8:30 p.m.
Thursday: "Riot," 10 p.m.
Indigo Eurasian Cuisine
1121 Nuuanu Ave. / 521-2900
"Get Fresh!" with DJs G-Spot, Sovern-T and Mark, 10 p.m.
"Electro-Lyfe" with DJs Toki, Monkey and Vince, 10 p.m.
Tuesday: "Wrath of Grapes," 6 p.m. "Wrath of Jazz," 8:30 p.m.
Wednesday: "The Compound" with DJs Jahson, Packo and Deadfoot, 10 p.m.
Jazz Minds Art and Cafe
1661 Kapiolani Blvd. / 945-0800
Noly Pa'a Connection featuring Sherry Shaoling, 8:30 p.m.
Rolando Sanchez and Salsa Hawaii, 8 p.m.
Monday: "Monologue Contest" with Gene DeFrancis, 7 p.m.
Wednesday: "Artist's Collaborative" with Jerome James, 9 p.m.
311 Lewers St. / 926-1777
Mike Piranha, 5 p.m.
Stumbletown, 9 p.m.
Hubbard and Coates, 5 p.m.
FreeSound, 9 p.m.
Celtic Wave, 3 p.m.
Tiki Malua, 9 p.m.
Tuesday: Bongo Bob and Tavana, 9 p.m.
Wednesday: Doolin' Rakes, 9 p.m.
Kemoo Farms Pub and Lakeside Lanai
1718 Wilikina Dr. / 621-1835
Analog and Guy Cruz, 9 p.m.
Slug and Pohaku, 9 p.m.
Kona Brewing Co.
Koko Marina Shopping Center / 394-5662
Naluhoe, 7 p.m.
Jon Osorio, 7 p.m.
"Hawaiian Sunday Sunsets" with Holunape, 6 p.m.
Wednesday: Nahoa, 7 p.m.
Thursday: Weldon Kekauoha and Friends, 7 p.m.
Living Room @ Fisherman's Wharf
1009 Ala Moana Blvd. / 538-3808
"The Next Level" w/ Direct Descendants and DJs Wrong 1 and Risup, 10 p.m.
"Speakeasy Saturdays" with DJs Archangel and Miklos, 10 p.m.
"Faded 5 Sundays," 10 p.m.
Wednesday: "Soul Steady," 10 p.m.
Mai Tai Bar
Ala Moana Shopping Center / 947-2900
Kimo Opiana, 4 p.m.
Inoa'ole, 9:30 p.m.
Lawrence Kidder, 4 p.m.
Ka'ala Boys, 9:30 p.m.
Jeff Rasmussen, 4 p.m.
Katch-Ah-Vibe, 9 p.m.
Monday: Kawao, 9:30 p.m.
Tuesday: Hot Rain, 9:30 p.m.
43 N. Hotel St. / 550-0496
"Rhythm Lab," with DJ Silvana, 5 p.m.
"Pacific Standard" with DJ Ira, 9 p.m.
"Chinatown Sessions" with special guest Afrika Bambaataa, 9 p.m.
Thursday: "The HNL," 9 p.m.
The O Lounge
1349 Kapiolani Blvd. / 944-8436
"The Bounce," 10 p.m.
"The Light" with Moguls Entertainment and Evol Entity, 10 p.m. 18+
"Soberbia Latina," 9:30 p.m.
Wednesday: "The Grapevine," 6 p.m.
Thursday: "The Secret," 10 p.m.
Restaurant Row / 531-8444
"Pau Hana Fridays," 4:30 p.m. $5 cover after 8 p.m. 23+
"Piranha Room" with Russell Tanoue, 9 p.m. 23+
Tuesday: "Everybody's Ladies' Night," 8 p.m. $5. 23+
Thursday: "Paddler's Night," 8 p.m. $5.
On Stage Drinks and Grinds
802 Kapahulu Ave. / 738-0004
"Live Music Fridays," 10:00 p.m.
"Live Music Saturdays," 9:30 p.m.
O'Toole's Irish Pub
902 Nuuanu Ave. / 536-4138
Tiki Malua, 5 p.m.
The Mixers, 9 p.m.
Doolin' Rakes, 9 p.m.
"Jamie Winpenny's Local Band Night" with special guest Gyn's Big Thang, 9 p.m.
Monday: Tavana, 8 p.m.
Tuesday: "Coors Original Music Night," 8 p.m.
478 Ena Rd. / 946-6499
"Liquid Velvet" with DJ Dallas DeBauch,
10 p.m. $10. All ages.
"Noctuary" with DJs MoDBoY and Angst,
10 p.m. $10. All ages.
Wednesday: "Shockwave" with DJs Politix, Shadowfaxxx and Angst, 10 p.m. All ages.
805 Pohukaina St. / 589-1999
"Zine Fest 2006," 6 p.m. All ages.
"Foreplay Fridaze," 10 p.m. 18+
"Local Vocal" with All-Natro, Kawao and Koa'uka, 10 p.m. 18+
Tuesday: "Ultimate Tuedays" with DJ Mike D, 10 p.m.
Red Lion University
2535 Coyne St. / 949-5466
"Freaky Fridays," 10 p.m. $5.
"South of the Border Saturdays" with special guest Big Trouble, 10 p.m. $5. 18+
Monday: "Broke Dik Mondays," 9 p.m.
Thursday: "Dallah Ballah Thursdays," 9 p.m.
Tiki's Grill and Bar
Aston Waikiki Beach Hotel / 923-8454
Na Hoa, 7 p.m.
Simple Souls, 10 p.m.
20 Degrees North, 7 p.m.
Ellsworth Simeona, 9:30 p.m.
Ka'ala Boys, 5 p.m.
Christian and Sani, 8 p.m.
Monday: Mel Amina, 5 p.m.
Tuesday: Kelly Boy and Kapena, 5 p.m.
1349 Kapiolani Blvd. / 951-8671
"Paradise" with DJs Technique, Edit and Krazy K, 10 p.m.
"Men of Venus," 9:30 p.m. $10.
"Taste of Honey," 11:30 p.m. $5.
"Sex-E Sundays" with DJs Big John and Billy G, 10 p.m.
Wednesday: "Wild Wednesdays" with DJs Technique and Edit, 10 p.m.
1877 Kalakaua Ave. / 941-0424
"The Men of Playgirl" and Speed Limit, 8 p.m.
"The Men of Playgirl" and Planet Jane, 8 p.m.
"Double Down Sundays," 10 p.m.
Monday: "Loot Leezee Presents," 10 p.m.
Tuesday: "Gruv Tuesdays" with DJ KSM and the Stone Groove Family, 10 p.m.
Waikiki Trade Center / 924-3939
"Fugu" with DJs Euphorik, Billy G and Frankie, 11 p.m.
"ISIS," 10 p.m.
"Sizzlin' Sundays" with DJs Mike D and Rude Dogg, 9 p.m. 18+
Wednesday: "Heaven," 9 p.m.
Thursday: "Thirsty Thursdays" with Rick Rock and DJ Wu-Chang, 9 p.m. 18+
Barfly appears every Friday in the Star-Bulletin WeekEnd section. Reach Jason Genegabus
with suggestions of neighborhood bars to visit.