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.