Scenic Kauai eatery
to get rock ’n’ roll
A Chicago businessman is
purchasing Whaler's Brew Pub
for an undisclosed price
LIHUE >> A Chicago businessman who has provided the sound technology for some of the world's largest rock concert tours announced yesterday he is purchasing Whaler's Brew Pub and plans to turn it into a "state-of-the-art Rock 'n' Roll bar and grill" with hopes of drawing top music talent to The Garden Island.
Whaler's Brew Pub is generally acknowledged as having the most beautiful view of any restaurant on Kauai. It overlooks the entrance to Kalapaki Bay with Haupu Ridge in the background.
The plan is to turn the existing restaurant into a night club capable of holding 1,000 patrons along with an attached but soundproofed restaurant. It is patterned after the Hard Rock Cafe and House of Blues concepts.
"It sounds exciting," said Beth Tokioka, Kauai County Economic Development director. "It's such a beautiful site, it would be great to see it maximized. I'd really like to see that happen."
It will be called "Harry J's" after its developer, Harry Witz. Witz's company, db Sound (www.dbsound.com), has provided the equipment and technology for the Rolling Stones Bridges to Babylon tour, the Allman Brothers Band, Guns & Roses, Kiss, the Riverdance tour and many others.
No purchase price was disclosed.
"At the present time, there is absolutely no other venue on Kauai where top name entertainers can perform with the technical support they are accustomed to. Harry J's will become a very hip place to play," said Jim Wheatley, Witz's partner on Kauai.
In addition to top-name talent, the nightclub would provide a venue for local talent as well.
Witz said in a prepared statement that he and Wheatley have been designing the project for six years, since they met while Witz was honeymooning on Kauai.
"Our goal was to make something that would be the most unique concert setting in the nation, with breathtaking views; something that would give the local and visiting patrons and visiting artists unforgettable images to remember," Witz said in a prepared statement.
"We are decorating it with my own private collection of rock 'n' roll memorabilia from the past 25 years and various artists have been kind enough to donate items as well. Guitars, picks, drumsticks, passes, jackets, gold albums, everything from the biggest stars in music,"
The announcement comes only days after GolfBC of Vancouver, British Columbia, announced the purchase of the neighboring Kauai Lagoons property from Shinwa Group of Japan.
The property includes the land under Whaler's Brew Pub, which already has been leased by Witz and an adjacent shopping center that has been closed since Hurricane Iniki in 1992.
Two Jack Nicklaus-designed golf courses already are on the property and there are plans for a third. The property also comes with permits already issued for a 600- to 750-room resort.