There is something new and very festive at Ala Moana Center right now. It’s The Christmas Bar Hawaii! The Christmas Bar is a pop-up bar that is serving holiday themed drinks and a lot of Christmas spirit. Michael Miller, a partner in The Christmas Bar Hawaii, joined us with all of the details this morning.
The Christmas Bar:
Open from now til December 31, 2017
10:30am – 11:00pm (sometimes later)
Ala Moana Shopping Center – Ewa Wind (in the old Magnolia Bakery)
Before you shop, fuel up at Ala Moana's Christmas Bar pop-up
BY: ERIC BARANDA DEC 8, 2017
The Christmas Bar is a new pop-up at Ala Moana Center serving festive and holiday-themed drinks – the most popular being a sweet, cream soda-based Hogwarts Butterbeer, finished with a marshmallow fluff foam. They don't have food, however, you're welcome to bring in your own. It's located in the former Magnolia Bakery space in the Ewa Wing next to Mr. Tea Cafe. Bring your friends, an ugly sweater and some food because the bar is only here until the end of December.
The Christmas Bar
Ala Moana Center
1450 Ala Moana Blvd
Open Daily 10:30 a.m. - 11 p.m.
Final day is Dec. 31, 2017
MAKE CHRISTMAS SHOPPING MUCH MORE BEARABLE AT THIS POP-UP BAR AT ALA MOANA CENTER.
BY CATHERINE TOTH FOX
THE HOGWARTS BUTTERBEER AT THE CHRISTMAS BAR, WHICH OPENED DEC. 1 FOR THE ENTIRE MONTH AT ALA MOANA CENTER.
PHOTOS: CATHERINE TOTH FOX
Simply put, The Christmas Bar at Ala Moana Center is genius.
Stressed-out shoppers can take shelter in this new pop-up bar, which took over the 2,400-square-foot space vacated by Magnolia Bakery near Longs Drugs now through the end of the month. It offers a variety of festive martinis, spiked hot chocolate, glasses of wine, beers on draft and the already-popular Hogwarts Butterbeer, which can be made nonalcoholic. (But why?)
Michael Miller, director of operations and longtime veteran bartender at Tiki’s Grill & Bar, is running this jolly joint, which is decked with garland, Christmas lights and more ornaments than the tree at Honolulu Hale.
“For me, this is super fun,” says Miller, wearing a red collared shirt and a Santa hat. “It’s just about having a good time.”
THE POP-UP, CHRISTMAS-THEMED BAR OPENED IN THE SPACE VACATED BY MAGNOLIA BAKERY AT ALA MOANA CENTER.
VETERAN BARTENDER MICHAEL MILLER RUNS THE CHRISTMAS BAR—AND HE’LL GREET YOU WITH A “MERRY CHRISTMAS” WHEN YOU WALK IN.
If you can imagine where Santa’s elves went to pau hana, it would be this place. The servers are dressed in Christmas sweaters, socks and Santa hats. The menu features five merry martinis, including the Clause-mopolitan ($9) made with citrus vodka, Cointreau, lime and pomegranate juice. Other spirited spirits include a boozy eggnog ($9) with bourbon and a pinch of nutmeg; Mexican hot chocolate ($9) with Kahlua, rum and a pinch of cayenne pepper served hot or cold; and a winter sangria ($8) with vodka, white wine, apricot brandy, apples, cranberries and orange juice.
THE WINTER SANGRIA IS ONE OF A MORE THAN A DOZEN COCKTAILS, BEERS AND WINES OFFERED AT THIS POP-UP BAR.
The butterbeer, though, is the most popular, luring Harry Potter fans and muggles who loves the blend of caramel and cream soda. The adult version ($7) has vanilla vodka, Butterscotch Schnapps, cream soda and marshmallow fluff. I’ve had the one from Warner Bros. Studio Tour in London, and this is far better. Maybe it’s the alcohol.
There’s also an off-the-menu shot that’s worth inquiring about: The Shot of Joy ($7) combines Peppermint Schnapps, Pinnacle chocolate whipped vodka and créme de cacao for a joyous punch that’s so smooth it’s dangerous. It comes with a mini marshmallow studded with bits of candy cane as a chaser of sorts.
If cocktails aren’t your thing—but you’re still desperate for a drink mid-shopping—the bar offers four beers (two on draft), four kinds of wines and soft drinks, too.
It’s not surprising, given the merriment here, that customers have already come back dressed as elves to sit at the bar or requested to hold their office parties here.
“We just wanted this to be super fun,” Miller says.
If only it would last.
The Christmas Bar, Ala Moana Center near Longs Drugs, 10:30 a.m. to 11 p.m. daily through Dec. 31, (808) 951-4707
Michael Miller, Tiki’s director of operations, is managing The Christmas Bar, which is situated in a 2,400-square-foot space formerly occupied by Magnolia Bakery, which closed last December.
Tobin, Miller and Tiki’s General Manager Albert Aki decided to open the bar a few months ago, having already secured a liquor license for another concept.
“We were working on another concept with [General Growth Properties, which manages the mall] but the timing wasn’t right, so they approached us about the opportunity to open up a temporary spot,” Miller told Pacific Business News. “[The mall] has been great to work with, and they tried to help us expedite the process of opening.”
Miller said the bar is the result of recycled materials and help from friends and family, who came together to put up holiday decorations inside the space. The menu includes Christmas-inspired drinks, such as egg nog, cranberry mojitos and Hogwarts Butterbeer.
“Bill had done a similar concept on the Mainland, and we opened up on Saturday night after a little remodel of the space, mostly to the bar area,” Miller said. “We upcycled whatever we could from other projects, a lot of this stuff was waiting to go to the dump. We asked a few friends if they wanted to help decorate, and we worked on the drink recipes at home on our own time.”
The bar will be open until Dec. 31 and has brought in customers of the mall as well as Ala Moana Center employees. The Christmas Bar is staffed by current Tiki’s employees.
“We have about two on staff,” Miller said. “We just asked anybody who wanted to make some extra money during the holidays.”
Miller is considering adding an entertainment component to the bar, such as caroling, or playing Christmas movies.
“The main reason we did this is that it’s fun,” Miller said. “We all have busy lives with jobs, family and events, and we didn’t want to do something that wasn’t going to be fun, but we also didn’t want to do something where we were going to lose money.”
The restaurant trio—Miller, Tobin and Aki—may open another, more permanent concept together in the future, though it is still too early for specifics, Miller said.
Many of you know that I'm the proud director of operations for Tiki's Grill & Bar. A few of you know that I've been teaching classes focusing on consumer behavior in the business program at the University of Hawai'i - West Oahu. Sharing my social media marketing and business experiences with my classes been very rewarding.
Last year I was honored to be asked by Hawaii Business Magazine to speak at the final SmallBiz Academy of the year. The topic was "Monetizing Your Digital Media."
Editor Steven Petranik welcomed everyone and introduced Thomas Obungen, digital and social media strategist of Upspring Media LLC and Associate Editor of Frolic Hawaii. He shared about using Facebook to drive excitement and engagement, also discussing sequence and frequency of posting. He explained how testing pricing for lunches made them come up with a price of $10 per box lunch, which allowed higher sales $12 as people bought two at $10 vs. one at $12.
Kuhao Zane, director of design and marketing, represented the aloha shirt company, Sig Zane Designs. It was his Dad's 72nd birthday and he asked everyone to stand and wish him birthday, sharing a story about how Hawaiians embraced the printing press to share knowledge in the Hawaiian language with others. He explained how today's platforms still allow for sharing, with their shirts each telling a story. Takeaways from Kuhao included the storefront, using elements in , placing content before sales.
Jennifer Diesman, VP of HMSA, shared the challenges of being a mature company and what it took to launch an app more about health and well-being than an insurance company and finding the right partner in ShareCare to get it done.
I spoke about Yelp and went beyond the basics. Speaking about understanding consumers and embracing the platform, leveraging data along with guest experience to make improvements, yet also doing the basics.
Hosted by Steven Petranik and Cheryl with Kira Chong Tim and Michelle Okada and Jeff Hawe, along with the rest of the team at Hawaii Business Magazine.
It was hosted in the downtown Honolulu Business District with about 120 guests in the room. http://www.hawaiibusiness.com/5-things-small-businesses-should-know-about-monetizing-their-digital-media/
Our featured dish: Maui Nui Venison Tiki Burger, One-half pound of all natural Venison from Maui on a sweet taro bun with sweet onions, sliced pickles, lettuce & tomato and "Huna" (secret) sauce. Served with sidewinder french fries.
HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) -
In this Kitchen Creation, Chef Ronnie and Grace Lee talk about taro leaves, also known as luau leaves.
These are from Wong's Products of Oahu. The featured recipe is Crab and Boursin Palu Sami Dip.
Chef Ronnie and Grace Lee talk
Wong's Products has been growing taro leaves on a 35-acre Kahaluu farm, and his products service the entire Island of Oahu. Taro leaves are exportable to other islands and the mainland states. The Wong's also produce Lehua Taro Corms that are used for Poi or Kulolo making.
Wong's Products are all-natural and guaranteed fresh for your peace of mind.
Crab & Boursin Cheese Luau Dip
Palusami style Hawaiian luau leaf & coconut custard mixed with blue crab & three kinds of cheese. Served piping hot with tri-color corn tortilla chips at Tikisgrill.com
From Honolulu Magzine:
This Local Family’s Been Growing Taro for Decades
All the people who used to grow wetland taro were in Thelma Wong’s family—and they still are now. Thelma Wong is a second-generation Chinese who runs Wong’s Products with her brothers. The only other commercial wetland luau leaf grower on Oahu is her cousin, Clifford. (The difference between dryland and wetland luau leaf? “Wetland is more tender,” Thelma says.) Her father, Leonard, started the business even though his mother told him, “Don’t be a farmer. Your back is always to the sun and your face to the rain. Don’t be a farmer … unless you have a lot of children.”
Leonard had 10 children. So he farmed (though he also had a business degree and, at the time, an office job). He bought land in Kahaluu and grew corn, turnips, green beans and taro for the corm (the root). He switched to raising taro for leaves because they were faster to harvest—every two weeks versus a year for the corm. He kept amassing land—adjacent properties, then 14 acres along Kamehameha Highway, then in Punaluu. When H-1 was being built, he bought the government-seized houses along the route and moved them to Kahaluu, to become Wong’s Village.
Today, the farm is 35 acres and Wong’s Products’ business consists of luau leaves, lehua taro, freshwater prawns and rental units in Wong’s Village. Last year, Wong’s Products sold 400,000 pounds of luau leaf to restaurants such as Highway Inn and Young’s Fish Market. Not a bad legacy for a man warned against farming.
26 EDITORIAL AND READER PICKS FOR THE TASTIEST FOOD IN TOWN.
BY BY ROBBIE DINGEMAN, MICHAEL KEANY, STACEY MAKIYA, BRIE THALMANN, CATHERINE TOTH FOX, KATRINA VALCOURT, DON WALLACE, CHRISTI YOUNG & JAMES CHARISMA
At first, the idea of choosing between sliders seemed like an act of hubris destined to end in nightmare indigestion. Our extensive sampling indeed revealed an overreliance on sweet barbecue pork and assembly line production. But this same sameness made it relatively easy for a true standout to emerge: Tiki’s Grill & Bar. It doesn’t hurt that Tiki’s is notched on the second floor of the Aston Waikīkī Beach Hotel, overlooking the surf break, but it was the only place that offered a fish, pork and hamburger trio in a single order ($15). In sliders, variety matters. What’s way more important: These babies are chef-curated and local-sourced, just like grown-up food in white tablecloth restaurants. Fresh local fish, grass-fed Big Island beef, taro buns, local lettuce. The portions aren’t mingy, either, but real three-bite mouthfuls. You other guys, consider the bar raised.
2570 Kalākaua Ave., (808) 923-8454, tikisgrill.com.
HONOLULU (Hawaii News Now) -
Hau’ula tomatoes, cored and sliced ½” 1 each
Location: 54-190 Kawaipuna Street Phone: (808) 293-5477
Founded by Graf Shintaku in 1955 and now opertated by his son, Terry Shintaku.
These tomatoes were grown using hydroponic technology.
Hau'ula Green Growers also grows Kai Choi (Mustard Cabage), Tahitian Luau Leaves, Green Onions, Baby Pak Choi.