Jason Genegabus

Pigskin’s Bar
shows potential

THIS WEEK'S featured bar is a new addition to the stretch of Kapiolani Boulevard near Kala-kaua Avenue that's home to a mix of regular bars, strip clubs and nightclubs all within walking distance of each other.

That close proximity to other establishments will help solidify the position of Pigskin's Sports Bar in the neighborhood. After spending some time at its grand opening last weekend, I realized that this place is a great spot to pregame for a bit before moving on to bigger and better things.

DON'T GET me wrong; it would be easy to spend an entire evening here and not leave until last call. The bar is surprisingly large, and it's obvious the new management spent some time cleaning the place up.

A pair of pool tables and Megatouch machines provide the usual distractions, and Pigskin's also offers a new type of jukebox I haven't seen anyplace else.

Pigskin's Sports Bar
Hours: 2 p.m. to 2 a.m. daily
Location: 1661 Kapiolani Blvd.
(Across from 24 Hour Fitness)
Phone: 946-6465


It's completely digital, and you're supposed to manipulate a touch screen to choose a song. I didn't get a chance to try it, however, since there were DJs spinning during the grand opening and it didn't look like the jukebox was properly hooked up (classic rock seemed to be the only genre available, and it wouldn't let me connect to a network to browse for other types of music).

Another nice touch is the widescreen HD television that sits against a wall opposite the bar. For those of us who can't afford such a luxury at home, it's nice to be able to pull up a chair and catch a game with all the detail HDTV provides.

It also looks like a DVD player is hooked up, so you might want to bring a movie along and ask to watch that instead when you visit. Two smaller televisions also occupy space above the bar.

WHAT WORRIES me about Pigskin's though is that there doesn't seem to be a clear vision as to what kind of vibe managers want for the place. The night the Barfly landed, a local rock station was on hand to host the grand-opening festivities, but management booked DJs that played reggae and hip-hop music. Beer was pretty cheap that night, too, but only a few select customers were given glasses to drink out of. The rest of us, myself included, got plastic cups. Pretty tacky for a grand opening, if you ask me.

And while I was happy with the server who floated around the room taking drink orders, the bartender on duty during the grand opening should try a bit harder at being attentive to her customers' needs. After drinking a few rounds out of my plastic cup, I grabbed a seat at the bar to order a bottle instead.

Although there were nothing but empty barstools next to me, I got passed over a number of times by both the bartender and her barback. It wasn't until I had a friend of the owners flag her down that I was able to get served. Not a good impression to make on a new customer.

Maria Robinson is a bartender at the newly-opened Pigskins Sports Bar.

UNTIL PIGSKIN'S management decides how to differentiate this place from other watering holes in the area, the only reasons I can think of to recommend Pigskin's Sports Bar are the affordable beer prices and its attractiveness as a place to start the evening before going somewhere else. For now, folks who want to grab a drink before moving on to Blue Tropix, Femme Nu or even the Wave Waikiki would be happy with this joint. But get the right promoter involved here, and I can see underground hip-hop or a live band helping to make Pigskin's the next big thing in the neighborhood.

How much for a Bud Light?
Three bucks gets you either a draft pint or a bottle of Bud Light; draft pitchers are also available for $8. Coors Light is also on special here for $7 a pitcher during happy hour (2 to 8 p.m.)

Get things to do?
Pool tables, Megatouch and dart machines provide customers with something to do while cruising at Pigskin's; the dart machines, however, are located in an area that also appears to be a dance floor for the bar, so watch out if you decide to get up and shake what your momma gave ya -- don't get an eye poked out

What about the grinds?
It doesn't look like a full pupu menu is available yet, but there are a few things worth trying. Calamari ($6), fried zucchini ($5.50) and mozzarella sticks ($6) are available, as are teriyaki beef/chicken sandwiches ($7) and a pulled pork sandwich ($6.50)

And the help?
For the most part, both servers and management seemed eager to impress during the grand-opening celebration. Other than some difficulty in getting served at the bar at one point during my visit, service was adequate for a place newly opened for business.

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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