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Jan 27, 2011 11:56 AM

Oahu Dive Bars ??

I'm going to be in Oahu next week. I usually don't like hotel bars or "uppity" bars but prefer local , dive bars where locals hang out and aren't to fancy .

This post might be more for the locals of Oahu .... but I wanted to know which are some of the good , local dive bars. ???

Any and every response is appreciated !! Thanks :)

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  1. you gonna be in waikiki? some popular dives are arnold's (tiki-esque kitcsh) and irish rose. sort of off-the-beaten path is Pane y Vino, a cool little wine bar that is very different from the rest of waikiki, nice and chill. another dive is ' the hideaway'.

    near waikiki (off kapahulu) is uncle bo's (not really a dive bar but a popular local hangout with nice pupu's) well as the side street in on da strip (new venture of the venerable side st inn institution - a favorite local fam-style pupu bar). both of these are across the street from each other, more or less. double shot.

    the varsity is essentially the university bar, open air. tons of beers on tap. down the street is anna banana's, one of the longest (if not the longest) standing bars in honolulu. great dive bar (yes, its now "anna o'briens"as it was taken over by a dude that owns a bunch of irish bars, but its essentially the same thing).

    and you can head to chinatown, where every bar is a locals bar. you can easily make a night of wandering all the bars there. jj dollans (decent pizza), mercury bar (hipster), murphy's (nice irish pub, great barkeeps), o'tooles's (music and irish dive), bar 35 (many beers and good snack pizza - nice outside space), hotel 39 (artsier, also has outside space and snacks, nice house cocktails), hank's (tiny dive, music and smiles), dragon upstairs (jazz), smith's union (classic dive, actually this is longest standing bar in honolulu - prefer to hit this later in the night when the lolo's have left, drunk karaoke), new place - downbeat diner for late night snacks (decent burger), indigo (3 diff't bars in same building, go here to be seen, pretty cool setting)....and there are others.

    all can be found with your smartphone...or just ask around.

    1 Reply
    1. re: fatstern

      great list fatstern. i know smith's union has been around a long time, and that the bar itself (the furniture) came from the pantheon, which used to be the oldest bar in Honolulu, I didn't realize that it was now the longest standing, but it doesn't surprise me.

      I might ad bamboo2 to your list. It isn't a dive but it is supposed to have great martini's. it also has a wonderful bas relief carving on one wall that came from another bar that was once called the zebra room over on Kalakaua (and a few other names after that.) The carving is really wonderful, and they have done a great job of restoring it.

    2. Korean bars are all over the out for the wet bottom of the tray trick and the champagne bucket...

      4 Replies
      1. re: flylice2x

        Tell me more about "...wet bottom of the tray trick and the champagne bucket..."

        1. re: HNL

          There was a nice article about 8 Fat Fat 8 on Beretania in the paper today. I always wanted to go there and if I'm in the neighborhood I think I will!

          1. re: manomin

            they are very friendly, and great pupus. some good karaoke too.

          2. re: HNL

            They serve your pupus and drinks on a tray. The bottom of the tray is wet. If you have any bills on the table as most guys do when they go drinking at a korean bar the hostess will put the tray on the bills. The tray being wet the paper money gets stuck to the bottom of the tray. It's hard to see as most of these bars have their lights very low.

            When you order champagne many of the hostess will come to the talbe to help you drink.
            When the champagne is poured into their glass they will dip a napkin to stop the bubbles. In doing this it uses up the champagne real fast so you have to order another one.

            My first two lesson were never leave money on the table and never order champagne. But tip the hostess well when she brings a lot of pupus.

            And the most important lesson...
            If your dating a korean bar hostess never go to that bar..

        2. Bronco's in Kalihi (not to be confused with the long departed Bronco Bar by the airport). Great food by Aki, who used to work in the kitchen at the legendary Kurobara Lounge,

          1 Reply