Jason Genegabus

The first-floor bar at Dave & Buster's features several large TVs over the bar. Bartender Scott Nakamura makes a cocktail called "Magic."

Try D&B’s for
brew & football


Location: 1030 Auahi Street (Ward Entertainment Complex)
Hours: 11 a.m. to 1 a.m. Mondays through Thursdays; 11 a.m. to 2 a.m. Fridays and Saturdays; and 11 a.m. to midnight Sundays
Phone: 589-2215


ANOTHER week, another bar worth checking out if you're looking for a place to grab a beer and catch a football game this season.

As one of the anchors of the Ward Entertainment Complex, Dave and Buster's attracts a diverse crowd of people looking to eat, drink and play video games. It's probably the closest you'll get to a Las Vegas-type experience here in the islands, especially on the second floor midway where there's always a lot of noise and flashing lights.

But this column is all about the beer, and Dave and Buster's doesn't disappoint if you're looking for a place to kick back with friends and toss a few back. Each of the three floors here has its own bar, and you're not restricted to just one area once you sit down for a drink. If you're not feeling the vibe downstairs, simply pick up your beer and migrate someplace else. (Just make sure you've paid for it before moving on.)

THE BARFLY'S pick for watching a game here would have to be the first floor bar, off to the left of the customer service counter at the front of Dave and Buster's. Four smaller televisions and one big-screen sit opposite to about 20 barstools, and there are a number of tables surrounding the bar that you can sit at if things get a little crowded. Three pool tables and a shuffleboard are located just steps away, although you do have to reserve them and pay an hourly fee in order to play.

On the second floor, among the various games that occupy the Dave and Buster's midway, sits the second of three bars. While the first floor has more of a traditional, wood-paneled feel to it, the upstairs bar reminds me more of a diner from the '50s. There's a bit more tile used instead of wood here, and the barstools and booths surrounding the bar make me feel like I should be ordering a malt and waiting for a girl to walk by in a poodle skirt. This would be the bar to catch a game at if you're forced to bring the kids with you, or if your significant other wants to come along but isn't much of a football fan.

The rooftop at Dave and Buster's is home to the establishment's third and final bar, which also happens to be my favorite if I'm not stopping by to catch a game. With sweeping views of Waikiki, Ala Moana Beach Park and the Kakaako waterfront, sitting up here with a group of friends, talking story around sunset, is a great way to end a hard day at work. Unfortunately, not a single television set is available on the rooftop for customers to watch, which kind of defeats the purpose of coming here during football season.

WITH LOTS of parking available in the immediate area, a convenient location and ice-cold beer on tap, Dave and Buster's is a good pick if you're rolling with the guys and want to stop somewhere that can accommodate a crowd. Happy hour is also in effect until 6 p.m. on Saturdays and all day on Sundays, so you're sure to get your money's worth while cheering on your favorite college or NFL team. And if they lose, don't worry -- you can always take it out on the games in the midway once the game is over.

How much for a Bud Light?

The Barfly drank $2.95 Bud Light drafts while visiting Dave and Buster's during happy hour earlier this week. The regular price is over $4, so make sure to visit at the right time. And don't forget about $2 beer specials on Saturdays and Sundays!

Get things to do?

While everything is within walking distance here (and you can always take your beer with you if you to another floor), the bar located in the midway at Dave and Buster's would be your best pick for something to do. If video games aren't your speed, head downstairs and play some pool on the first floor. Live DJs on select nights (and piped in music the rest of the time) are offered upstairs on the roof.

What about the grinds?

A full lunch and dinner menu is available downstairs at Dave and Buster's; the rooftop bar offers a limited pupu menu if you want to grab some grinds up there. Head down before 5 p.m. during the week and you can take advantage of lunch specials -- the Jack Daniels barbecue chicken ($7.69), blackened chicken pasta ($6.99) and chicken tenders ($7.69) are among the choices .

And the help?

For the most part, the service here is pretty solid -- I've never really had a problem getting a drink, and if you're sitting at a bar, it's a good bet you'll be able to flag down the bartender long before you finish your glass. Friday and Saturday nights tend to be the busiest here, so expect a bit of a wait if you visit then.

See the Columnists section for some past articles.

Barfly appears every Friday in Star-Bulletin Weekend.
E-mail Jason Genegabus at with suggestions of neighborhood bars to visit.


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