Archive for February, 2016

Gordon Biersch offers limited seasonal beer

By
February 26th, 2016



JASON GENEGABUS / JASON@STARADVERTISER.COMThe Gordon Beirsch Belgian Tripel ale is available at the chain's Aloha Tower Marketplace restaurant through March 20.

JASON GENEGABUS / JASON@STARADVERTISER.COM

The Gordon Beirsch Belgian Tripel ale is available at the chain's Aloha Tower Marketplace restaurant through March 20.

There are still a few weeks left to get a taste of Gordon Biersch Honolulu’s first seasonal beer offering of 2016.

Along with traditional GB brews like the Golden Export, Marzen and Hefeweizen, customers can belly up to the bar for a 13-ounce glass of Belgian Tripel ale. The limited time offering arrived earlier this month and will be on tap through March 20.

Why not serve it in a pint glass, one might ask. Turns out the tripel style of ale is brewed to a higher level of alcohol by volume than other beers. While GB’s Golden Export, for example, clocks in at 5.0 percent ABV, the Tripel is 8.4 percent ABV. Stronger beer means establishments need to be proactive with their customers, hence the smaller serving size to prevent overserving.

It’s a good move, because this Belgian Tripel is a real sleeper. It arrives with a nice orange color and not a lot of head, but you can still pick up the Saaz hops used in brewing on the nose. The first sip is smooth, with a creamy mouthfeel and slight fruitiness on the palate. It's a lot lighter in body than you might expect for this style of beer.

As time passes, the GB Belgian Tripel warms up a little in the glass, opening it up to more fruit and hop aromas. While I generally prefer my beer ice cold, I really liked how this stuff got better as I worked my way through it. Most times my beer ends up tasting worse the warmer it gets, so this was a pleasant surprise.

Along with the seasonal offering, Gordon Biersch announced the additional of new menu items earlier this month. According to a release sent by the company, they include:

» GB Chicken Wings: Available traditional or boneless, lightly fried and tossed in guest’s choice of signature sauces: Spicy Chili Märzen, Traditional Buffalo or Thai Fire.

» Southwest Wonton Nachos: Crisp wonton chips with black beans, cheddar & pepper jack cheeses, pico de gallo, red onions and cilantro, topped with smoked paprika and a drizzle of jalapeño ranch. Guests can add chicken for $1.99.

» Ahi Wonton Nachos: Tuna diced and tossed in teriyaki sauce over crisp wonton chips, with grilled pineapple, pickled ginger, green onions and toasted sesame seeds, drizzled with cucumber wasabi sauce and Sriracha cream.

» Chicken Prosciutto Sliders: Grilled chicken served on toasted slider buns with sliced prosciutto, fresh arugula and Parmesan garlic sauce.

Gordon Biersch Honolulu is located at Aloha Tower Marketplace and is open from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. daily (closes at 12:30 a.m. Fridays and midnight Saturdays). Call (808) 599-4877.
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Jason Genegabus has covered the local entertainment, nightlife, music and bar scenes since 2001. Contact him via email at jason@staradvertiser.com.

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Party in silence at ARTafterDARK

By
February 24th, 2016



ASSOCIATED PRESSParticipants in a silent disco wear headsets at a railway station in Paris during the 14th edition of "Nuit Blanche," or "Sleepless Night," last October.

ASSOCIATED PRESS

Participants in a silent disco wear headsets at a railway station in Paris during the 14th edition of "Nuit Blanche," or "Sleepless Night," last October.


The Honolulu Museum of Art wraps up Black History Month on Friday with a party that promises to be equal parts funky and freaky.

ARTafterDARK’s theme this month is “Afrofuture,” a nod to the cultural aesthetic that has blossomed over the last 25 years and blends historical African elements with sci-fi and steampunk influences. The party will feature an art projection by Afrofuture artist Ed Hemphill; a screening of John Akomfrah’s Afrofuture film “The Last Angel of History” is also planned.

The freaky part? At some point in the evening you’ll find 500 people in a courtyard at the museum gyrating in silence.

No, I’m not predicting a mass mental breakdown — minds may melt during “Afrofuture,” but it will be thanks to music being pumped through wireless headphones to create what the museum is calling the first large-scale silent disco in Honolulu.

“Apparently there have been weddings and stuff,” explained Honolulu Museum of Art communications director Lesa Griffith. “We’re saying it’s the first large public one.”

ASSOCIATED PRESSA silent disco turned a Paris railway station into a giant nightclub last year.

ASSOCIATED PRESS

A silent disco turned a Paris railway station into a giant nightclub last year.

Griffith said HMA deputy director Hathaway Jakobsen was among the staff who first floated the idea of hosting a silent disco about a year ago, but it was ARTafterDARK volunteer advisory board member Eddie Quan and special events associate Wainani Paikai who helped make it a reality. The museum is working with New York-based Sound Off Experience to bring the silent disco concept to Honolulu this week.

The first 500 people who show up on Friday will receive a wireless headset with access to not just one, but three different channels of music. DJs Maynard G, Davey Shindig, Sejika and count weevil will be represented by different colors while they spin, with headsets lighting up with the respective color as guests choose their favorite playlist.

“There’s a competition aspect for the DJs,” Griffith said. “They’ll be able to see who is the most popular.”

ARTafterDARK: “Afrofuture” goes from 6 to 9 p.m. Friday at the Honolulu Museum of Art, 900 S. Beretania St. Admission is $25 (includes one year HMA membership); free for HMA members. Call (808) 532-8700 or visit artafterdark.org.
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Jason Genegabus has covered the local entertainment, nightlife, music and bar scenes since 2001. Contact him via email at jason@staradvertiser.com.

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Toasting Tullamore D.E.W. with Tim Herlihy at O'Toole's

By
February 21st, 2016



JASON GENEGABUS / JASON@STARADVERTISER.COMTim Herlihy, center holding Tullamore D.E.W. bottle, and his new friends at O'Toole's Irish Pub last week.

JASON GENEGABUS / JASON@STARADVERTISER.COM

Tim Herlihy, center holding Tullamore D.E.W. bottle, and his new friends at O'Toole's Irish Pub last week.

Tim Herlihy’s world changed dramatically in 2011 when he arrived in the United States as the official U.S. brand ambassador for Tullamore D.E.W. Irish whiskey.

Born and raised in Ireland, his original life’s plan was to become heir to his family’s successful egg farm.

“To be perfectly honest, it was a little awkward,” he said. “I’m the eldest son and the whole plan was for me and my dad to build an egg empire together.

“Just the idea of where I’m from and doing this, it’s just so unusual.”

In just five years, Herlihy has visited 31 states to share a dram of Tullamore D.E.W. with new friends. He’ll be able to check all the others off his list by next month when he completes a 50-states-in-30-days tour in search of what he called “the best Irish pubs and the best ways to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day.”

After kicking off the tour in Los Angeles on Wednesday, he made his first trip to Hawaii for a four-hour layover — in the dark — before boarding another plane at Honolulu International Airport. The official Honolulu stop was at O’Toole’s Irish Pub, where a small group of industry professionals and whiskey aficionados gathered to taste three different Tullamore expressions. A second, unofficial stop was across the street at Murphy’s Bar & Grill.

The two bars impressed Herlihy with their authenticity, he said.

“This is a gem,” he said of O’Toole’s. “And Murphy’s, too. I still haven’t quite realized I’m in Hawaii yet.”

JASON GENEGABUS / JASON@STARADVERTISER.COMThe lineup at O'Toole's last week.

JASON GENEGABUS / JASON@STARADVERTISER.COM

The lineup at O'Toole's last week.

The Triple Distilled D.E.W. (the initials belong to former owner Daniel E. Williams) was a good introduction to the brand with its combination of Irish grain, malt and pot still whiskey, Herlihy told the crowd at O'Toole's. A second, 12-year expression illustrated how the whiskey’s flavor changes as the distillate spends more time aging in wood barrels.

Tullamore D.E.W. Phoenix is a limited edition release, named after the type of bird featured in the town of Tullamore’s coat of arms. At 110-proof, it’s got more punch than the Triple Distilled, and finishing the pot still whiskey in used olorosso sherry casks adds an element of sweetness to the finish. It was easily my favorite of the three, with more complexity than the Triple Distilled and the type of kick I would expect from a “high strength” whiskey, as the bottle's label describes it.

Herlihy headed for Las Vegas following his brief visit to Honolulu, continuing up the west coast to cities like Seattle and Anchorage before heading back south through Idaho, Utah and New Mexico. At last check of his Twitter account on Sunday, he was toasting with customers at Rula Bula, an Irish pub in Tempe, Ariz.

The whirlwind trip comes to an end March 17 in New York City.
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Jason Genegabus has covered the local entertainment, nightlife, music and bar scenes since 2001. Contact him via email at jason@staradvertiser.com.

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Live art, music headline POW! WOW! Hawaii finale

By
February 17th, 2016



JOHNNY WILSON / SPECIAL TO THE STAR-ADVERTISERThe Green headline Stranded in Paradise, the finale event for POW! WOW! Hawaii 2016, at Makers and Tasters on Saturday.

JOHNNY WILSON / SPECIAL TO THE STAR-ADVERTISER

The Green headline Stranded in Paradise, the finale event for POW! WOW! Hawaii 2016, at Makers and Tasters on Saturday.

POW! WOW! Hawaii 2016 went out with a bang last weekend, as thousands of people showed up at Makers and Tasters in Kakaako for the annual art and music event’s finale concert. Local favorites The Green headlined the show and were joined by DJ Babu and Rakaa Iriscience of Dilated Peoples, Likkle Mai and local artists Eli Mac and Taimane Gardner.

DJ Cipha Sounds hosted the night, which also included a performance by students in the POW! WOW! School of Music. Food trucks, a breakdancing contest and art battle also took place. POW! WOW! sponsor Hawaiian Airlines had a VIP area set up at Makers and Tasters to provide guests with comfortable seating, complimentary snacks and drinks, and charging stations for mobile devices.

But the best part about the Black Book VIP Lounge was the up-close-and-personal vantage point for a live art installation by Honolulu-based artist Kamea Hadar and Japanese husband and wife duo Hitotzuki (aka Kami and Sasu Yoshida).

COURTESY HAWAIIAN AIRLINESKamea Hadar works on painting the side of a Hawaiian Airlines service vehicle.

COURTESY HAWAIIAN AIRLINES

Kamea Hadar works on painting the side of a Hawaiian Airlines service vehicle.

Hadar laid the foundation for the installation on the side of a Hawaiian Airlines service vehicle on Feb. 6 during the monthly Honolulu Night Market event at Makers and Tasters, painting a Hawaiian couple exchanging ha, or breath of life. Hitotzuki took over on Saturday to add blue and white tones reflective of Hawaii’s natural landscape.

COURTESY HAWAIIAN AIRLINESSasu Yoshida adds his personal touch to the side of a Hawaiian Airlines service vehicle during Stranded in Paradise on Saturday.

COURTESY HAWAIIAN AIRLINES

Sasu Yoshida adds his personal touch to the side of a Hawaiian Airlines service vehicle during Stranded in Paradise on Saturday.

According to a Hawaiian Airlines representative, the artists were inspired by a “strong sense of selfless service” found in both Hawaiian and Japanese culture.

See more photos from Stranded in Paradise via Honolulu Pulse.
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Jason Genegabus has covered the local entertainment, nightlife, music and bar scenes since 2001. Contact him via email at jason@staradvertiser.com.

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Fat Tire rolls into Hawaii

By
February 11th, 2016



JASON GENEGABUS / JASON@STARADVERTISER.COMBottles from New Belgium Brewing Company line the shelves at Bar 35 during a preview tasting earlier this month.

JASON GENEGABUS / JASON@STARADVERTISER.COM

Bottles from New Belgium Brewing Company line the shelves at Bar 35 during a preview tasting earlier this month.

One of the most eagerly anticipated craft brew brands in the United States arrives in Hawaii this week as New Belgium Brewing rolls out a full complement of its beers — including its popular Fat Tire amber ale — in stores as well as local bars and restaurants.

“Craft beer has a lot of potential to grow and expand, especially here in Hawaii,” said New Belgium Brewing regional sales director Scotty Prawalsky during a preview tasting at Bar 35 on Feb. 2. “We feel our beer is going to resonate really well. We’re excited for people to try it and not have to bring it home in their luggage!”

New Belgium Brewing was officially launched in Fort Collins, CO in 1991 by a guy who started out by making beer in his basement. Jeff Lebesch and his wife, Kim Jordan, were the ones who came up with the original Fat Tire recipe, which led the charge to the brewery’s current offerings of more than three dozen different beers.

Yes, Beer Nerds, you can relax. Hawaii will get more than just Fat Tire. Along with the amber ale, we’ll see bottles and kegs of Ranger IPA, Rampant Imperial IPA, Citradelic tangerine IPA and Glutiny gluten-reduced golden ale. Sidetrip, a Belgian-style pale ale, will be available on draft at local bars and restaurants. Another seasonal release, Hoppy Blonde ale, is expected here in March.

Why the expansion to Hawaii now? It’s all about capacity, Prawalsky said. New Belgium has a new brewery built and ready to go in North Carolina, which will be capable of taking care of customers on the east coast that were previously serviced by the original Colorado brewery. Once it’s fully functional later this year, beer brewed in Fort Collins that was once destined for others will now make its way across the Pacific to Oahu, Maui, Kaui and Hawaii island.

A number of events are planned on Oahu to celebrate New Belgium’s arrival, starting Thursday at Bar 35. The Chinatown bar will host a free public event with entertainment by Discord & Rye to go with beer and pizza samples. All New Belgium beers will be priced at $4.50 (bottles) and $5 (draft) before 10 p.m.

On Feb. 17, BREW’d in Kaimuki will host a Tap Teaser featuring the two seasonal beers on draft as well as the full lineup of bottles available in Hawaii. The bar is located at 3441 Waialae Ave. in Kaimuki; call (808) 732-2337.

And reservations are now open for a New Belgium Brewing Beer Dinner hosted by Chef Ronnie Nasuti at Tiki’s Grill and Bar in Waikiki on March 21 at 6 p.m.

According to a menu posted online, the dinner will include:

» Amuse Bouche: Tarte Flambée Duck Confit with melted leeks and Gouda cheese, served with Citradelic cocktail

» First Course: Hibachi Hamachi Kama with spice sprout salad, served with Citradelic tangerine IPA

» Second Course: Pig Ear Frites with green papaya salad and lime fish sauce, served with Glutiny Golden Ale

» Third Course: C4 Oyster with crab/sausage stuffing and taegu, served with Ranger IPA

» Fourth Course: Quartet of stuffed chicken wing, Rampant beer soup, corned beef cheek and foie gras, served with Rampant Imperial IPA

» Fifth Course: Manini New Belgium waffle with char siu duck ice cream and brown butter coconut maple syrup, served with Fat Tire amber ale

Tickets for the five-course meal are $73.79 and available via Eventbrite.
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Jason Genegabus has covered the local entertainment, nightlife, music and bar scenes since 2001. Contact him via email at jason@staradvertiser.com.

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Blue Note adds local artists

By
February 11th, 2016



KAT WADE / SPECIAL TO THE STAR-ADVERTISERNew Orleans' Rebirth Brass Band performed at the new Blue Note Hawaii in January.

KAT WADE / SPECIAL TO THE STAR-ADVERTISER

New Orleans' Rebirth Brass Band performed at the new Blue Note Hawaii in January.

As Blue Note Hawaii continues to settle into its new home at the Outrigger Waikiki on the Beach, the jazz club with roots in New York City will feature an increasing number of Hawaii-based acts and turn to a familiar theme on Sundays.

DON TIKI

Featuring Starr Kalahiki

» When: 7 and 9:30 p.m. Feb. 16-18 (doors at 5 and 9 p.m.)

» Cost: $25, $35, $45

ANUHEA AND FRIENDS

Featuring Paula Fuga

» When: 7 and 9:30 p.m. Feb. 19-21 (doors at 5 and 9 p.m.)

» Cost: $25, $35, $45

THE ROUGH RIDERS

» When: 6:30 and 9 p.m. March 31 through April 2 (doors at 5 and 8:30 p.m.)

» Cost: $25, $35, $45

Following a pair of concerts by ukulele virtuoso Jake Shimabukuro at the beginning of January, it’s taken a little time for Blue Note management to find the right lineup of performers. When I spoke with owner Steve Bensusan before the venue’s soft opening in December, he said there were no immediate plans to feature local artists other than Shimabukuro.

“It’s all about forging alliances with the right people and getting their input to provide the right type of entertainment,” he said at the time. “We’re just now really getting into programming some local events, so you’ll see things pop up over the next few months.”

Three things popped up at the start of February, when it was announced that Don Tiki featuring Starr Kalahiki, Anuhea and The Rough Riders will all get multi-night runs over the next few weeks. Don Tiki will play at 7 and 9:30 p.m. Feb. 16 through Feb. 18, followed by Anuhea featuring Paula Fuga and “other special guests” at 7 and 9:30 p.m. Feb. 19 through Feb. 21.

The Rough Riders — Henry Kapono, John Cruz and Brother Noland — wrap up this round of local love with performances at 6:30 and 9 p.m. March 31 through April 2.

“It was very important to Outrigger that our local artists be part of the ongoing music lineup,” said Sean Dee, executive vice president and chief marketing officer for Outrigger Enterprises Group, in a release announcing the shows. “It is exciting to see (Blue Note Hawaii) moving forward with providing opportunities for our Hawaii musicians to perform in this world-class showroom.”

A number of local musicians will be involved with Blue Note Hawaii’s Gospel Brunch, a weekly event that launches on Easter Sunday, March 27. Doors will open at 11 a.m. Sundays for brunch, followed by a 1 p.m. performance by the Blue Note Gospel Choir. The newly-formed band features lead vocalists Riya Urei Davis, Christina Souza and David Harris backed by music director Jeannette Trevias, producer Scott Baehrens and drummer Bonny B.

Also in the works are Friday and Saturday Late Night Jam Sessions that will feature “legends alongside the best local musicians Hawaii has to offer,” according to the club’s website. Jam Sessions will follow regularly scheduled performances at Blue Note Hawaii and typically won’t get started until 11:30 p.m. each night.

Blue Note Hawaii officially opened last month with special guest Kenny G. More than $3.5 million was spent renovating the former Society of Seven Showroom at the Outrigger Waikiki, turning the 9,000-square-foot space into a state-of-the-art performance venue.

Recently announced shows include:

» Maxi Priest, Feb. 25-27

» Kamasi Washington, March 14-16

» The Blind Boys of Alabama, March 22-23

» The Wailers, April 4-10

» Lee Ritenour, April 12-17

» Hiroshima, April 26-May 1

» Ravi Coltrane May 17-22

Unless otherwise noted, headliners typically play two sets each night at 6:30 and 9 p.m. A full menu will be available with chef Rodney Uyehara in charge of the kitchen. For a complete list of showtimes, ticket prices and additional information, call (808) 777-4890 or visit www.bluenotehawaii.com. A 15 percent discount on tickets is available to Hawaii residents and military with valid ID; validated parking is available at the Ohana Waikiki East, 150 Kaiulani Ave.

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Jason Genegabus 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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Otto Cake turns to Kickstarter for fundraising help

By
February 4th, 2016



KRYSTLE MARCELLUS / 2013Punk rock baker Otto in his Kaimuki store in 2013.

PHOTOS BY KRYSTLE MARCELLUS / 2013

Punk rock baker Otto in his Kaimuki store in 2013.

Downtown Honolulu hasn’t been kind recently to punk rock baker Scott "Otto" McDonough, who celebrated 26 years of selling his cheesecake and baked goods under the Otto Cake brand in Honolulu last week.

After shuttering his original Kalihi storefront in 2004, a debilitating back injury kept him from reopening another retail location until 2009. He moved to Smith Street in Chinatown, but was forced to close that location in 2013 after a series of run-ins with drug dealers and drug users that caused him to fear for the safety of himself and his employees.

0202 otto 002Media coverage of Otto’s plight and his move from Smith Street to 12th Avenue in Kaimuki led to a surge in business, and less than two years later he was back in downtown Honolulu with a new space on the ground floor of the Davies Pacific Center. The expansion was meant to be the precursor to another expected boost in sales, since many of Otto’s customers continued to work and live in the area and were eager for him to reopen in the neighborhood.

But just as the busy holiday season was supposed to get underway, disaster struck his downtown operation once again. About a week before Thanksgiving, the sprinkler system in the building malfunctioned, causing thousands of dollars in water damage. A month-long closure led to a significant loss of revenue and continues to threaten Otto Cake’s overall viability as a business.

"It's the day I revolve around all year," Otto said of the business he generates on Thanksgiving. "I have to make double the money that month so I can pay the rent in January. But I couldn't take Christmas orders either.

"I knew on Thanksgiving, I was sitting there by myself in Kaimuki and I just knew it was going to be bad. How bad it was, was they sent me a bill for the entire time I was closed. They want interest on everything.

In order to help Otto catch up with his bills, friends established a Kickstarter fundraising campaign with his blessing to collect $7,000 for the business by 3 p.m. Feb. 15. Backers have so far pledged nearly $5,000 of the money requested in return for rewards like fresh-baked brownies, strawberry ginger lemonade, iced coffee and Otto Cake T-shirts. Those who pledge at least $100 will also have their names listed on a perpetual plaque that will be posted in the store; as of Tuesday night, rewards were still available for pledges of $200 or more.

Even if he hits his Kickstarter goal, however, Otto still isn't out of the woods. After making necessary repairs, missing his January rent payment and scrambling to figure out how to make this month's rent, he estimated he now needs between $17,000 to $20,000 to dig himself out of this hole. Yet he makes no excuses for his shortcomings, stating matter-of-factly that "I can't read well and don't know numbers very well, so I'm not the most well-educated person."

"I was homeless before I started my bakery," he continued. "I've already packed my house up and am ready to do it again. I was already anticpating that (the bakery) was gone. This (fundraiser) is now that last ditch miracle effort that might save it, but I thought it was gone.

"I wanted to last until the 26th anniversary last week, and then I was accepting of the fact that it was going to go. But now people know. My parents didn't know until a couple weeks ago. I didn't tell my band members. I told no one. I mean, it wasn't my customers' fault there was a flood."

Otto seemed almost overwhelmed when asked about the outpouring of support he's received since the news got out. He's appreciative of what's been done so far, but also realizes there's still a lot more help needed in order to save his business. Along with financial support, he mentioned needing legal and accounting advice to help address the issues at his downtown store.

Along with the Kickstarter campaign, Otto Cake supporters will have an opportunity to make donations during a fundraiser concert at Downbeat Lounge on Feb. 11. Let’s Save Otto Cake will feature performances by Otto’s band 86 List, The Bougies, T.V. Microwave and Even Odders. Doors open at 9 p.m.

For more information about Otto Cake or the fundraiser, call or text Otto direct at (808) 834-6886 or visit the fundraiser’s Facebook event page and Kickstarter campaign profile.
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Jason Genegabus has covered the local entertainment, nightlife, music and bar scenes since 2001. Contact him via email at jason@staradvertiser.com.

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