Lanai alone justifies visit to Brew Moon Waikiki
WITH much of Windward Oahu deemed a disaster area, I'm definitely not the only one who would be happy to see winter end without another drop of rain.
Brew Moon Waikiki
Location: 2166 Kalakaua Ave.
Hours: 3 to 11 p.m.
Being the Barfly, however, my reason for wanting more sun is a little different -- I'm not a farmer, nor do I have to worry about my house being flooded. For me, better weather means more time to sit on the lanai at Brew Moon Waikiki.
MOST PEOPLE associate the second-floor cafe inside Local Motion's Waikiki retail store with MTV's "The Real World Hawaii," which filmed there extensively.
The cast worked as interns, booking various forms of entertainment and getting into all sorts of drama that made the show fun to watch. A poster commemorating the store's involvement still hangs on the first floor.
Nothing much has changed upstairs, except for the addition of taps that now exclusively serve the same Brew Moon beers that are poured at its Ward Centre restaurant.
More than two-dozen metal tables provide plentiful seating along the wrap-around lanai overlooking Kalakaua Avenue. Visit during the afternoon and you'll enjoy a quintessential Waikiki experience -- sunny skies (hopefully), an endless stream of automobile and pedestrian traffic on the pavement below, with paradise found in a plastic cup.
JAMM AQUINO / JAQUINO@STARBULLETIN.COM
Sachiko Uchida, left, Brian Saltiban and Ron Serikaku take time after work to chill at Brew Moon, located atop the third floor of the Local Motion Store in Waikiki.
UNFORTUNATELY, venturing into Waikiki still has its drawbacks.
Tourists passing by on foot shouldn't have a problem, but parking will always be an issue for locals. A small lot behind the store provides a few spaces, but there aren't many other options in the immediate area.
With just one employee on duty, expect to hustle your own drinks. Brew Moon Waikiki isn't a restaurant, nor is it a bar. It's a cafe that serves alcohol.
That alcohol also comes at a higher price; expect to pay $1 more per cup than you would at Ward Centre. And forget about traditional glassware -- it's all plastic, all the time.
Despite a few downers, the overall drinking experience here is a good one.
There simply aren't that many places that provide an outdoor setting to enjoy an adult beverage. Brew Moon Waikiki's upstairs location also allows customers to remain at a distance from traffic, while still enjoying a good view of the grassy lawn at Fort DeRussy across the street.
Having only been open a few weeks, there are bound to be tweaks to operations. While it's interesting to watch the video screens in the store and listen to the accompanying soundtrack, I'd much rather see live entertainment on the lanai than listen to the canned version. More employees to help bus tables would also help.
And why can't I get my Brew Moon growlers refilled here? Why not take advantage of the change in the law allowing customers to buy beer and take it off the premises?
Not only will that give locals a reason to stop by, but the growlers would also make great souvenirs.
WITH THAT, it's time for me to say goodbye to this column.
It's been quite the experience, getting paid to visit Oahu's different watering holes and share my findings with all of you. I appreciate the feedback I've received, both positive and negative, along with the many across-the-bar conversations I've had during the past few years.
While Barfly is pau (for now), I'll continue to cover the local nightlife scene here in Weekend, along with my column In the Mix, which appears on the Star-Bulletin's Entertainment page every Tuesday and Thursday. Aloha!
How much for a Bud Light?
Brew Moon brews ($4) are the only option. Can't decide which beer to order? Try the sampler ($6.25), a taste of everything available on tap.
Get things to do?
Sit back, relax and enjoy the sights and sounds of Kalakaua Avenue. Other than the tourists looking at clothes inside, there isn't much else going on at Brew Moon Waikiki right now.
What about the grinds?
Sandwiches and salads make up the menu here, although Brew Moon's Spiked Poke ($8) is also available. The panini sandwiches ($6) are actually pretty good!
And the help?
There was just one employee on duty last week when we visited, which meant getting up and going back to the counter to order each round of drinks. Once more people find out about this place, more help will be needed.
Barfly appears every Friday in the Star-Bulletin WeekEnd section. Reach Jason Genegabus
with suggestions of neighborhood bars to visit.