Archive for July, 2015

Scarlet Honolulu opens in Chinatown

By
July 24th, 2015



PHOTOS BY KAT WADE / SPECIAL TO THE STAR-ADVERTISERScarlet Honolulu is now open in the space formerly occupied by The Fix in Chinatown.

PHOTOS BY KAT WADE / SPECIAL TO THE STAR-ADVERTISER

Scarlet Honolulu is now open in the space formerly occupied by The Fix in Chinatown.

Oahu’s LGBT community has a new Chinatown destination, thanks to the recent opening of Scarlet Honolulu in the space formerly known as The Fix and SoHo Mixed Media Bar.

The new gay club is the result of a partnership between local television personality Lanai Tabura and Los Angeles fashion designer and photographer Traver Rains. Rains introduced Tabura to Scarlet Chicago’s Rob Savvy and Robbie Baldwin earlier this year, and within just a few months Scarlet Honolulu was born.

“We did this in six weeks,” Tabura said during the club’s opening night on Friday. “What I didn’t know was (Rob and Robbie) were already coming to Hawaii on a regular basis and they always noticed there was no place for them to go. There were bars, but no clubs.”

Scarlet Honolulu co-owners Lanai Tabura, left, and Traver Rains, right, with special guest Richie Rich.

Scarlet Honolulu co-owners Lanai Tabura, left, and Traver Rains, right, with special guest Richie Rich.

While Tabura brought his experience as an entrepreneur and local connections to the table, the creative direction for Scarlet Honolulu came entirely from his partners. The new club is nothing like it’s Chicago-based namesake, which has more of a classic speakeasy vibe.

Here in Chinatown, Scarlet is loosely based on a dollhouse theme, with a spacious dancefloor flanked by a handful of VIP areas. The artwork on the walls features a series of dirty dolls in action; Lanai said his partners set up a photoshoot in Chicago to create the images, which were shot in an actual dollhouse and blown up to create larger-than-life wall treatments in the club.

(Nearly everything on the walls at Scarlet Honolulu is NSFW, so you’ll have to check it out in person to see what the fuss is about.)

“I’m most proud because it’s so different and bizarre to me,” said Tabura. “Different, because you don’t see anything like this. I think everyone is going to want to check it out.”

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Along with Scarlet, Tabura and his partners plan to open two other businesses in what used to be part of the old nightclub space as well as an adjoining restaurant space. The Tiki at Scarlet Honolulu is expected to open in “about two months” with a classic tiki bar theme, followed by a new restaurant concept in “about three months.”

Tabura declined to provide any more details, other than to confirm that his brother (and “The Great Food Truck Race” co-star), chef Adam Tabura, would be part of the team working on the restaurant.

“It’s a three-step deal,” he said. “We have some good stuff coming.”

Until then, Scarlet will carry the torch from 8 p.m. to 2 a.m. Wednesdays through Sundays with a variety of parties, including Way Back Wednesday, Frat Night Thursday, Fireball Friday and The Banger Dance Party with DJ Luna on Saturdays. The club will host a Pau Hana Industry Party on Sundays.

To keep up with the latest info, follow Scarlet Honolulu on Instagram and Facebook.

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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 jason@staradvertiser.com and follow him on Twitter and Google+.

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M Nightclub unveils new art

By
July 3rd, 2015



PHOTOS BY KAT WADE / SPECIAL TO THE STAR-ADVERTISERHawaii-born artist Slick's Uzi Does It sculpture will call the bar at M Nightclub home for the next year.

PHOTOS BY KAT WADE / SPECIAL TO THE STAR-ADVERTISER

Hawaii-born artist Slick's Uzi Does It sculpture will call the bar at M Nightclub home for the next year.

Honolulu’s nightclub and bar scene has seen its fair share of action in 2015, with lots of new additions along with tried-and-true venues renovating and reinventing themselves as all-new destinations.

For M Nightclub, there’s no need to overhaul the iconic nightlife destination — if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it — but its owners realize the benefits of strategic updates to keep customers excited about coming back week after week. And so, for the third year in a row, the club is celebrating its birthday with all-new artwork on its walls courtesy of three artists with global acclaim.

M Nightclub general manager Dan Punch, second from left, with promotions manager Bryan Simpson, third from left, and two of the club's employees pose for a photo during a VIP reception on Thursday.

M Nightclub general manager Dan Punch, second from left, and promotions manager Bryan Simpson, third from left, pose for a photo with two of the club's employees during a VIP reception on Thursday.

While the names Richard Wyrgatsch II, Charles Bojorquez and Alex Kizu might not ring a bell, graffiti fans of a certain age will definitely recognize the work of Slick, Chaz and Defer.

It’s quite the coup for M Nightclub, which also refinished its floors and repainted the entire interior of the club in preparation for the trio. Along with Defer’s standalone pieces hanging on the walls, Chaz’s work covers nearly every remaining open wall and pillar in the room. Hawaii-born Slick contributed a five-foot sculpture of a gun-toting mouse that looks awfully similar to the one who hangs out at a certain theme park in Southern California.

Hawaii-born artist Slick with his Uzi Does It sculpture at M Nightclub.

Hawaii-born artist Slick with his Uzi Does It sculpture at M Nightclub.

Defer poses for a photo with one of his works commissioned for M Nightclub.

Defer poses for a photo with one of his works commissioned for M Nightclub.

Chaz Bojorquez sits in a VIP booth at M Nightclub that features his artwork.

Chaz Bojorquez sits in a VIP booth at M Nightclub that features his artwork.

“What we’re trying to do is keep it fresh,” general manager Dan Punch explained. “It’s always a challenge. Especially now, there’s a lot more competition out there.

“So that’s why we put in new artwork every year. That’s why we bring these big acts out, to try and keep ahead of the competition.”

Also new for 2015 is additional exterior lighting, which Punch said helps increase visibility for the club with cars passing by along busy Ala Moana Boulevard. Instead of relying on trendy gimmicks or profit-shaving drink specials, M Nightclub has remained focused on improving the quality of visiting DJ talent they hire and providing local clubgoers with an enjoyable experience that turns them into repeat customers.

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“It’s about doing the little things to keep people coming back,” Punch said. “This place has history around it … (and) I think that’s important to the local crowd. For 20 years this place has been a hotspot. We’re lucky, but you do have to keep it fresh. That’s why we’re going after these upper level guys we can afford (to book). We’re trying to bring in the best talent we can … to make it a draw.”

DJ duo GTA are the latest to visit from out of state, headlining Thursday’s anniversary party following appearances by DJ Four Color Zack on June 20 and T-shirt couture artist Adam Saaks on June 26. Sid Vicious (July 18), Alie Layus (July 24), Justin Credible (Aug. 8) and DJ Spider (Aug. 28) will help keep summer sizzling during the weeks to come.

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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 jason@staradvertiser.com and follow him on Twitter and Google+.

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PICS: M Nightclub 3-Year Anniversary

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