First Friday welcomes new additions
UPDATE: According to a press release sent Friday morning, "The Do-Over" will take place at Manifest, 32 N. Hotel St., instead of Fresh Cafe Downtown "due to circumstances beyond our control (with) permits."
Chinatown’s monthly First Friday celebration welcomes three new additions to its lineup this weekend, with two new venues making their debuts and the launch of a much-appreciated service for regular visitors to the neighborhood.
ONE OF the biggest complaints on busy nights in Chinatown is the lack of convenient parking options. Last month, a collaborative effort by neighborhood business and property owners with help from the community resulted in the launch of a new valet parking option on Bethel St.
We’re not talking about just weekend evenings, either — the new valet service will operate from 5:30 to 10 p.m. Mondays and Tuesdays, 5:30 to 11 p.m. Wednesdays, 5:30 p.m. to midnight Thursdays and 5:30 p.m. to 2 a.m. Fridays and Saturdays.
Vehicles will be parked in the ARTS at Marks Garage building, with drop-off located on Bethel across from Chaplain Lane. Pick-up will be on Chaplain Lane. (See map at right.)
Cost for the service is $10 on First Fridays and during special events; the price drops to $8 during all other times. Select Chinatown merchants may also decide to offer validation, so be sure to ask. Call 532-9300 for more information.
AFTER PARKING your car using the new valet service, you’ll be in perfect position to check out Chinatown’s newest nightspot, eleven44.
Formerly known as bambuTwo and theVenue, the two spaces owned by veteran Chinatown businessman Dave Stewart have been combined to transform what was once a “funky, casual space” into “something a bit more sleek and sophisticated.”
For the last few weeks, eleven44 operated under the radar with limited-time happy hour specials and a test lineup of pupu offerings. On Friday, they’ll partner with Foundation on a grand opening party that will feature DJs Timo, Jimmy Lee, Loic Tambay and Ramyt and the unveiling of the club’s new, custom-built D&B Audiotechnik sound system.
Doors at eleven44, located at 1144 Bethel St., open at 7 p.m. Friday with no cover charge for the 21-and-over crowd. Bottle service is available; visit Eleven44hawaii.com for more information.
JUST AROUND the corner on Nuuanu Avenue, the restaurant formerly known as Indigo will reintroduce itself to the neighborhood as Fresh Cafe Downtown with a special event celebrating the launch of annual Kakaako art event POW! WOW! Hawaii.
Fresh Cafe owner Tiffany Tanaka is a great fit for Chinatown, having operated the original location of her coffee shop and performance space on Queen Street since 2009 before deciding to expand. With the help of a loyal group of friends, Tanaka spent the last few weeks remodeling the space and is ready to open the doors to the general public.
According to a press release, Fresh Cafe Downtown will be open for breakfast and lunch from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m., with dinner service from 4 p.m. to midnight daily (take-out will be available all day).
On Friday, the Red Bull Music Academy will bring the Los Angeles-based “The Do-Over” party back to Honolulu with a special POW! WOW! Hawaii kickoff edition hosted by DJs Haycock and Strong. As always, “The Do-Over” hypes the appearance of “mystery guest DJs” at their parties, so expect surprises later in the evening. Doors open at 6 p.m. Friday; be sure to RSVP for free access.
Jason Genegabus is Entertainment Editor/Online at the Honolulu Star-Advertiser and has covered the local nightlife, music, bar and entertainment scenes since 2001. Contact him via email at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him on Twitter and Google+.