Ocean Club site has new tenant
The long-vacant Ocean Club nightclub at Restaurant Row officially has a new tenant.
Hawaiian Pau Hana's LLC, led by Gary Derks and Randy Brunett, signed a lease Tuesday and are in the process of seeking a transfer of the club's liquor license.
"It should take about three months," Derks said.
Another nightclub company's earlier announcement that it would be taking over was premature.
Several entities had been in the running, said Larry Taff, managing partner of the Shidler Group, which owns the complex.
"Some had money but no experience, or they had experience, but no money, and some had concepts that I didn't think would work, but these guys are pretty savvy guys in my opinion," Taff said.
Derks owns Maddog Saloon Waikiki with John Harrison under Shenanigans LLC, but the new venture will be run by a separate corporation involving Derks and Brunett, who owned Da Dawg House Waikiki.
Derks has been in the sports bar and nightclub business for 25 years and still owns two sports bars in California.
Before joining Derks in Da Dawg House, Brunett, a 20-year veteran of the business, served as bar manager at Duke's Waikiki and had worked in the restaurant industry in San Jose, Derks said.
Ocean Club replaced Studebaker's nightclub in 1997 and operated for ten years before shutting down Sept. 2. In announcing the closing, parent company Entertainment One Pacific Inc. also announced intentions to open a new club. However, the company filed articles of dissolution with the state on March 7.
Former owner Gene Gunn has long lived primarily on the mainland, while former Ocean Club co-owner Thomas Beau Mohr left the company to open Pearl nightclub at Ala Moana Center.