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Star-Bulletin Features

Thursday, December 16, 1999

By Kathryn Bender, Star-Bulletin
T. Muserlian works the lighting at the new sports
bar and nightclub, Pipeline Cafe.

New club promises
something in the Pipeline
for everyone

By John Berger
Special to the Star-Bulletin


CONCERT promotion isn't a "one size fits all" business. Some artists are arena or stadium acts while others will do quite well in venues that hold 500 to 1,000 people. Honolulu has lacked a small nightclub-style venue of the latter capacity for several years. That's a niche Jed Roa intends the Pipeline Cafe & Sports Bar to fill.

"We're probably a month or two away from bringing in mainland acts for concerts," says Roa, Pipeline's vice president and general manager.

In the meantime, Roa and his partners -- corporate president Chip Jewett, Mark Broadhurst, Chris Jewett and Dave Giomi -- are the proud owners of Honolulu's newest nightclub. The club celebrated its official opening on the 7th after a "soft opening" the previous weekend. James Ronstadt's Third Degree became the first band to officially use the stage when it played for the grand opening party. Baba B played there last night. Sunburn brings high volume hard rock to the club tomorrow.

Pipeline presents a Mele Kalikimaka concert with Natural Vibrations and Ho'onu'a on the 22nd.

Roa will feature local bands on Wednesdays and mainstream rock on Fridays. John Cruz will play in a softer lounge setting on Sundays. Club DJs will program dance music nightly from a balcony style booth overlooking the dance area.

He says other aspects of the Pipeline format will be equally diverse. The club currently opens as a sports bar from 4 p.m. for pupus. The second floor is the sports bar section of the club and features four pool tables, eight electronic dart boards, an assortment of sports video games, and one of Pipeline's three full-service bars. A smaller room overlooking the dance floor will be available for private parties.

Roa says Pipeline will be open for lunch "after the new year," and will eventually be open almost all day. A total of 30 screens enhances the sports bar theme with satellite sports a natural part of the format.

The new year will also see the opening of another section of the club that will be called the Lava Room.

"We'll going to put in a separate stage and a separate bar so we'll be able to use it for private parties, use it to present a different type of music, or open it up if we bring in a bigger act and make the whole thing one room."

Veterans of the local club scene will remember Roa as general manager of Moose McGillycuddy's on University Avenue. Roa successfully steered "Moose University" through challenging times in the '80s when the University of Hawaii at Manoa opened a bar on campus and adults under 21 lost the right to drink. Roa adjusted the club's entertainment, food and beverage format to appeal to an older clientele and saw profits soar, even as the club lost some of its young adult crowd. He later opened and managed two successful Hawaiian-theme clubs in Seattle before returning to Hawaii in 1997.

His partners' resumes include management positions at Ryan's, Players, Snappers, Bobby McGee's, Hot Lava and the Wave Waikiki. Security director Ava Suafali worked at Scruples, Hot Rod and Wave Waikiki, and currently oversees security at the Red Lion in Waikiki; assistant security director Poloka Tereise is a front-line veteran of service at Moose's and World Cafe.

"We were looking at locations in Kapahulu and some other area and when we came in here it was a big warehouse but Chip and kind of visualized the whole place. We like the area because it's between Ward Warehouse and Aloha Tower and Restaurant Row, not too far from the city but it's still away from Waikiki," Roa says.

"Everybody still wants to have fun but I think it's more free and easy, people are more responsible now," he says when comparing the contemporary club scene with the circuit circa the '80s.

"We're offering Honolulu a good-looking, fun place. If they want to do sports they can do that. If they want to dance they can do that. We'll have the music and the food. I think it's going to be a great year for us."

Pipeline Cafe & Sports Bar

Bullet Where: 805 Pohukaina St.
Bullet Hours: 4 p.m. to 2 a.m. daily
Bullet Cost: Free until 10 p.m.; $3 or $2 10 p.m. to closing depending on the evening. Higher cover for some special events.
Bullet Minimum age: 21
Bullet Call: 589-1999

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