O Lounge for sale after 5 years in operation


POSTED: Saturday, April 11, 2009

The O Lounge on Kapiolani Boulevard is up for sale after five years in business.

Owner Elizabeth Hata Watanabe says it's been a good run, but her priorities have shifted since her second son, now 3 months old, was born.

“;It's gotten tough,”; she said. “;Any business is a 24/7 job, and this type of industry requires someone to be there.”;

Unlike other clubs, hata watanabe said there are no other partners or investors.

The 9,764-square-foot O Lounge space is listed for sublease at $10,740 a month, including two large bar areas and a full kitchen.

“;The O Lounge does very, very well with our fundraisers and charitable events,”; said Hata Watanabe. “;We have private bookings until the end of the year that we're going to accommodate, and by selling, I'm able to pass this on to someone else.”;

Hata Watanabe founded the O Lounge in October 2004, combining New York grunge with a posh, Asian-inspired interior and hi-tech lighting. The O Bartending Academy may or may not continue, she said, depending on the new owner.

Hata Watanabe said she still plans to move forward with a restaurant, and is negotiating for a new space downtown.

Harbor Court Bistro, which she opened at the former Palomino space last August, closed just two months later after it was denied a liquor license.

She hopes to keep the Harbor Court Bistro name, and plans to serve a contemporary menu to a business lunch crowd, with happy hours. The chef most likely will be different.

Also, she plans to put more time into the Hata Foundation, which she just started earlier this year in memory of her grandfather, Minoru Hata, the son of the founder of Y. Hata & Co.

Hata Watanabe said the foundation's focus will be on women and children.