Archive for January, 2011

Pipeline Cafe to close

January 22nd, 2011

FL Morris / 2010

New Orleans rockers MUTEMATH perform at Pipeline Cafe last August. The nightclub will shut down Feb. 1 after more than a decade in business.

Pipeline Cafe will close in February after more than a decade of hosting concerts, parties, fundraisers and other events, the nightclub’s current owner confirmed Friday.

Greg Azus took over in 2008 and continued to promote a variety of events, putting extra emphasis on live music and stand-up comedy. He also expanded the club’s food menu and opened for lunch to service office workers in surrounding neighborhoods.

In December, City and County of Honolulu fire inspectors cut the legal capacity of the venue to 299 people from 951 after finding several violations. At the time, Azus said fire sprinklers over a 2003 expansion area were not connected to an adequate water supply. Pipeline also developed the expansion without a building permit.

“The time it would take to get that work done was estimated at six weeks,” Azus said yesterday. “We could have stayed open; we just would have still had the minimum occupancy. But to pay the rent and get that (fix to the sprinklers) done at the same time would be (financially) impossible.

“I’m disappointed, obviously. I wish I had done better. But I’ve already borrowed a big amount just to get the club, so I’ve got to pay that back. I’m already (at risk of) losing my house.”


Dinner with Manny Hinojosa

January 20th, 2011

Dinner on Tuesday was a home-style Mexican feast, courtesy tequila master (and part-time chef) Manny Hinojosa. Click here for more photos.


I must admit, I got just a little nostalgic when I first heard about this weekend’s “Celebrity Chefs, Island Style” event on the Big Island.

Just last August I was over there myself, covering the second annual Don the Beachcomber Mai Tai Festival at the Royal Kona Resort. Despite being a whirlwind, 12-hour-plus day on the job, watching the EDITION Waikiki’s Christian Self walk away with a $10,000 check for the “World’s Best Mai Tai” was easily one of the professional highlights of my year.

‘Celebrity Chefs, Island Style’

With special guests Michael Symon, Jonathan Waxman and Manny Hinojosa

» Where: Mauna Lani Bay Hotel & Bungalows, 68-1400 Mauna Lani Dr.

» When: Jan. 21 and 22 (Friday and Saturday)

» Cost: $300 ($250 for Saturday’s six-course dinner only)

» Info:

So, as you can probably guess, I was pretty disappointed when I found out I wouldn’t be able to pick up another fun gig covering an Iron Chef, one of the dudes who is always on “Top Chef” and a world-class master mixologist (see info box at right).

That disappointment turned to excitement, however, when I got an e-mail from Better Brands marketing and promotions superstar Christa Wittmier, who passed along an invitation from Hawaii-based Bacardi rep Sommer Meyer: Want to eat dinner with Manny Hinojosa?

A private dinner with a cocktail architect of Hinojosa’s stature? That’s a no-brainer. But it got better — not only would he be serving up drinks with the meal, but Hinojosa would also prepare the entire menu.

Meyer didn’t have to ask me twice. Despite some killer pau hana traffic on Tuesday afternoon, I piled into a Platinum Limousine party bus with Wittmier and a handful of Better Brands VIPs for the trip to Meyer’s house in Makakilo.

Better Brands knows how to party responsibly — don't drive, arrive alive!

All aboard the party bus! From left: HFM FoodService sales manager Kelii Heen, Wittmier, Kara Kim, Better Brands vice president Joe Fairchild, Shawna Lewis and Lewers Lounge bartender Tim Rita (who also serves as Hawaii chapter president of the United States Bartenders Guild).

"It’s one of those things," said Meyer after we arrived in Makakilo. "Manny always cooks when he comes to town. So I was like, 'Why don’t we invite some people?'

"It’s fun that he’s here, this famous mixologist, and we’re all here hanging out in my garage with the dogs!"

Hinojosa spent the day with Meyer, starting off in the morning with a quick shopping trip before settling into the kitchen around 11:30 a.m. For the next seven hours, he prepared more than half-dozen dishes — and according to Meyer, set off her fire alarm eight times!

"Here's this Food Network star … telling me he's not used to working in a kitchen so small," she laughed (Hinojosa is a personal friend of Guy Fieri and appears on his shows from time to time). "But he's like any other friend who comes over and cooks at your house. We always have a lot of fun."

It's hard not to have fun at a party when the garage is home to a back bar like this — one of the perks of working in the liquor industry!

And two of the perks of partying with Meyer in Makakilo: Elvis, left, and Fiona were the runaway stars of the night, busting into the living room from their outdoor living area repeatedly — to the raucous cheers of guests inside.

Hinojosa, left, and Fairchild talk story in the kitchen before dinner.

Hinojosa had cocktails ready when we arrived, including a soursop and blood orange margarita that had me reconsidering my blanket ban on drinking tequila. A short time later, a platter of fresh guacamole appeared (winner!) alongside a tequila ceviche made with jicama, habanero, cilantro and pomegranate (even bigger winner!).

"I never cook in any restaurant," he said when asked about his culinary background. "But I love food … (and) that’s actually what took me to the mixology level. I understand flavor."

Calling upon his family's recipes, Hinojosa prepared a menu that consisted of favorites that might not normally be found on the menu at any local Mexican restaurant. And even if they were, grinding this stuff anywhere else just wouldn't have compared to the experience of sitting down to a meal with Hinojosa.

Some two hours later, we were back on the party bus — this time with Hinojosa in tow — and heading back into town. Between signing a stack of cocktail recipe books and passing around a bottle of Cazadores, he talked story about his bartending travels and plans to participate in upcoming drink contests on the mainland.

He also confessed his secret to partying like a rockstar: Take it easy at home. While Hinojosa goes hard whenever he's on the road and meeting with friends and fans, he cuts out nearly all alcohol when he's back home in Northern California. He considers it a detox program of sorts, and said it's worked well to keep him fresh and rejuvenated in recent years.

Whatever he's doing, it's working — I haven't seen someone put away that much tequila and show absolutely no signs of intoxication like Hinojosa did in a very long time. I almost feel sorry for those who will get to party with him on Saturday night!

Related Post:

PICS: Dinner with master mixologist Manny Hinojosa

PICS: Dinner with master mixologist Manny Hinojosa

January 20th, 2011


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Related Post:

Dinner with Manny Hinojosa

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Anuhea to sing at 2011 Pro Bowl

January 12th, 2011

Jason Genegabus / 2010


Maui singer-songwriter Anuhea Jenkins has been selected to sing the national anthem prior to kickoff of the 2011 NFL Pro Bowl on Jan. 30 at Aloha Stadium.

Jenkins made the announcement via her Twitter and Facebook feeds, posting the following earlier today:

Holy football!!! I'm singing the National Anthem at the Pro-Bowl!

She followed up a few minutes later with this post:

Thanks u guys, should be a sick experience! Now... What to wear?? Televising nationally...ahhhh!!!!

The Na Hoku Hanohano Award winning artist recently completed her "Quarterlife Crisis" tour, which took her to the Big Island, Maui and Oahu in celebration of her 25th birthday. She also opened for Bruno Mars on Maui last month.


Looking back at 2010

January 3rd, 2011

Local rapper Krystilez, second from left, performs with Creed Chameleon, left, K-Luv and Big Mox before mainland hip-hop artist Brother Ali at Pipeline Cafe last January.


One of life’s certainties is change — there are very few things that will stay exactly the same over an extended period of time.

The concept holds in Clubland, even though people who hardly ever go out will claim that nightlife in Honolulu is boring, bland, benign... blah, blah, blah. Not true. Plenty has happened in 2010, although you may have missed a lot if you hardly got out (or didn’t keep up with this column).

On a personal and professional level, a lot has happened to the way entertainment in general is being covered on Oahu. Not since I got into the newspaper game in 2000 has there been so much upheaval behind the scenes; the merger of the Honolulu Star-Bulletin and the Honolulu Advertiser was a game-changer, and in the process has really changed the way we cover the local scene.


Posted in Bars & Clubs, Events, Music | Comments Off on Looking back at 2010

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