Cheerleaders Too sticks with what worked before
When a bar undergoes a change in ownership, one of two things usually happen.
If deep pockets are involved, the establishment might close for a few days (or weeks) while improvements are made. The duration is usually indicative of how much money is being spent -- when owners keep a business closed, it's only because they can afford to do so.
On the flip side, some bar owners don't have the luxury or inclination to remodel. One reason is a lack of funding, but another follows a line of thinking we're all familiar with: If it ain't broke, don't fix it.
Location: 3250 Ualena St.
Hours: 2 p.m. to 2 a.m.
THAT'S WHAT seems to be the case at Cheerleaders Too, which we first visited a year ago when it was known as Lisa's House. Other than a few rearranged tables and a new sign outside, the bar remains the same in terms of layout.
Walk through the main entrance, and you'll immediately see everything there is to offer. A number of barstools surround the centrally located bar, which is flanked by pool tables and dart machines.
The same rickety tables and chairs from Lisa's House make up the majority of seating, although they aren't lined up cafeteria-style anymore. A half-dozen televisions are bunched together, with four screens built into a wall above the bar and another pair hanging at either end.
As was the case with Cheerleaders' former home at Moanalua Shopping Center, there's lots of space here to kick back with friends, and parking is plentiful in the lot out back and along nearby surface streets.
JAMM AQUINO / JAQUINO@STARBULLETIN.COM
Little has changed at Cheerleaders Too's new location on Ualena Street, a site formerly known as Lisa's House.
One important improvement is the quality of cell phone reception, which was nonexistent at the bar's old location. Before, a visit to Cheerleaders meant suffering through a complete signal loss while indoors. At least now you can make a recruiting call to your friends while knocking a few back from the comfort of your barstool, instead of having to walk outside.
it was comfortably crowded during a pau hana visit to Cheerleaders Too last week.
Workers in the area have known about this bar for years, regardless of the name posted outside. Sure, some loyal customers have followed the current crew from Moanalua, but I'd bet more folks come back because it's one of the few options for alcohol in the immediate area, other than one seedy strip club, a handful of hotel lobby bars and a couple of liquor stores.
And since we're not talking about doctors, lawyers or young professionals who demand a luxurious atmosphere and swanky cocktails served in martini glasses, there's no need to wrap things up in a pretty package. Just keep the beers coming, offer a shot special every once in a while, and this crowd is all good.
Various groups of office workers were scattered throughout the bar, some recognizable by company shirts that matched vehicles parked outside. Everyone seemed pretty easygoing, which is the perfect attitude to run into after you've endured eight hours of fiscal hell and just want a cold one and some soybeans before returning to the grind in the morning.
That's what the staff here recognizes, and they do a good job of providing a smooth ride along the path to inebriation. If you're looking for a place that's shiny and new, where your bill is for the scenery as much as it is for drinks and pupus, skip the Nimitz area and head for Waikiki.
But if you want to kick back and throw some darts while enjoying the simple luxury that is cheap beer? Cheerleaders Too is a great spot that's a little out of the way, but definitely worth a trip.
How much for a Bud Light?
The Barfly paid $2.50 for a bottle of Bud Light during happy hour, which lasts from 2 to 7 p.m. daily. Draft beer is also available.
Get things to do?
A number of televisions, along with rows of dart machines and a couple of pool tables provide the entertainment. Weekly pool tournaments are scheduled for Monday nights.
What about the grinds?
Cheerleaders Too offers all the typical bar standards, from ahi poke ($9.75) and chicken katsu ($7.75) to steak with mushrooms and onions ($11.75) and pulehu ribs ($11.75).
And the help?
While they still don't wear cheerleading outfits, servers are attentive and constantly moving throughout the room. Regulars appear to get a little more attention, so you might want to order at the bar if you're ignored while sitting at a table.
Barfly appears every Friday in the Star-Bulletin WeekEnd section. Reach Jason Genegabus
with suggestions of neighborhood bars to visit.