In the Mix

Mission Social Hall and Cafe serves up family-friendly pau hana

March 20th, 2016
JASON GENEGABUS // JASON@STARADVERTISER.COMUncle Wayne and the Howling Dowg Band perform during March's Mission Pau Hana event.

JASON GENEGABUS // JASON@STARADVERTISER.COM

Uncle Wayne and the Howling Dowg Band perform during March's Mission Pau Hana event.

Fatherhood brings with it an interesting new set of challenges — some I was prepared for, others not so much.

Among the surprises was discovering the new, ever-present dilemma of finding something fun for me and my wife to do when I’m not working and we can’t find a sitter for our six-month-old daughter. Before last fall, I didn’t have to worry about much more than myself, but everything changes when there’s a crying, pooping bundle of cuteness now permanently part of the picture.

MISSION PAU HANA

» Where: Mission Social Hall and Cafe, 553 S. King St.
» When: 5 to 7 p.m. every third Wednesday of the month
» Cost: Free
» Info: (808) 240-1096, www.missionhouses.org

Good thing is, I’m not the first parent to face this issue. And for Honolulu husband-and-wife team Mark “Gooch” Noguchi and Amanda Corby Noguchi of the Pili Group, problems like these are meant to be solved — even if it means rolling up their sleeves and doing something about it themselves.

That’s exactly what happened in 2014, when the Noguchis were in the process of finalizing their move into the Hawaiian Mission Houses Historic Site and Archives to open Mission Social Hall and Cafe, which celebrates its one-year anniversary this week. With one daughter at home and another eventually on the way, Amanda found the options lacking for her and her celebrity chef husband to go after work as a family.

“There seem to be few places these days where kids can run around freely,” she said. “I wanted to create something where we could spend time with our friends who also have kids while the little ones run around.”

That desire spawned the launch of Mission Pau Hana, which features food and drink by Mission Social Hall and Cafe to go with live entertainment by Uncle Wayne and the Howling Dog Band. Every third Wednesday of the month a rear courtyard fills with anywhere from 80 to 100 people ranging in age from newborns to retirees, many of them dancing or lounging atop blankets spread out on the grass. Beer and wine are also available for families with a designated driver who are looking to cut loose a little bit.

“It’s a one-stop shop,” said Noguchi. “You can bring the kids, get something to eat and then wear them out so they’re ready to go to bed when you get home. As a parent, it’s nice to have two hours where you can relax a little with your friends and not worry about what the kids are getting into.”
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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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