Erika Engle

So, a tourist looking
for a laundromat
walks into a bar ...

It's not a new idea, but it's new to Hawaii, according to Nash Megji. The chef-owner of Fox and Hounds Pub and Grub in Waikiki and Kahala has opened Pub and Suds, a combination laundromat and tavern next to his Waikiki location. The laundry-bar and laundry-coffee house combo is popular in mainland college towns, where students can simultaneously do laundry and study. Or not.

Nash and Krissie Megji work together to load a washing machine in their laundromat/bar, Pub and Suds, in Discovery Bay.

Fox and Hounds and Pub and Suds have separate entrances but are connected inside.

"I was expecting more people from the harbor to come over," Megji said, as the Waikiki location is across from the Hawaii Yacht Club, but his Pub and Suds customers are primarily visitors. By advertising the new way to multitask in Oahu Concierge magazine, Megji has also drawn a new customer base into the established restaurant and pub.

"They come over with enough clothes for three or four days but it's too hot. They're changing clothes twice a day and running out of clothes," he said. So, tourists stop by, do a load or two, take a load off for a meal and beverage at Fox and Hounds, and they can make their neighbor island jaunt with a suitcase full of clean clothes, Megji said.

Pub and Suds offers three washers, three dryers and a full-service bar, which operates only on the weekends "so it doesn't take away from the other side," he said. During the week, people go back and forth. There are 22 televisions on the Fox and Hounds side and three on the Pub and Suds side, which also offers video games, a dartboard, a jukebox, "and we give free soap because you know, especially for tourists, they don't want to be buying laundry soap." Rates are $1 for washing and $1 for drying, which Megji says is usually enough to complete the task.

Not everyone gets off that cheaply, like one of Megji's yacht club friends who told him, "It always costs me $45." He has lunch and a few drinks and he goes home with clean clothes, "but it's the best time he has doing his laundry," Megji laughed.

Out-of-towners are referred to Pub and Suds by readers of Oahu Concierge, a monthly hospitality industry magazine published by Pam Davis. Megji's first advertisement appeared in the February issue.

The magazine goes to concierges and other front of the house hotel employees who are likely to be asked, "Where can I ... ?" Davis said. Hilton Hawaiian Village receives 160 copies each month, for example.

"He told me he's getting a lot (of visitors) from Hilton Hawaiian Village and the Hawaii Prince, because of the location," she said.

Megji hired one employee to keep tabs on the laundry side but will hire more if he expands it into a so-called "fluff and fold," where customers drop off laundry to be done for them. He would guarantee no pink BVDs, unless they came in that way.

Pub and Suds' hours are the same as Fox and Hounds', which opens for breakfast at 7 a.m. Both close at 2 a.m., after last call and one last dewrinkle cycle.

Erika Engle is a reporter with the Star-Bulletin.
Call 529-4302, fax 529-4750 or write to Erika Engle,
Honolulu Star-Bulletin, 500 Ala Moana Blvd., No. 7-210,
Honolulu, HI 96813. She can also be reached


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