Cover Story


Casablanca, Chinatown

Cover

Cover image for Oct 5, 2011

Amidst the usual suspects of hipper-than-thou clubs and bars, the Facebook status-ed blogged and tweeted–there’s an undercovered place: BambuTwo.

BambuTwo is the Rick’s Cafe of Chinatown. People go there to wait and wait and wait…

Too crowded at JJ Dolan’s? Hop across the street for a cocktail while waiting for the pizza place to empty out. Not sure if you should check things out at Mercury Bar or head to dupstep the night away at Soho? Discuss the pros and cons at BambuTwo. Waiting for all your friends to park their cars? Establish BambuTwo as your rendezvous.

Deals are hatched over flickering votives. Meetings are conducted on black leather couches in the back. Souls are searched while sitting solo at the bar, sipping quiet tumblers of whiskey. The knees of a couple in love gently touch beneath a glass top table while they wait for a show to begin at Hawaii Theatre.

The drinks at BambuTwo are nothing out of the ordinary, but it’s the only bar in the area where you can sit on the sidewalk under an umbrella-ed table, smoke a cigarette and watch all the beautiful people strut or stagger up and down the street, day or night. Tattoo-ed sleeves on the bare sweaty arms of tightly muscled people from the gym. Aloha shirts and dark business dresses bravely facing the downturn of the economy. The Converses of art fags and fagettes toting their backpacks and camera bags courageously documenting an Island that may or may not love them back.

We can’t live without the tons of indie acts that grace the stage at Nextdoor. We can’t not shake ‘n’ pop our Saturday nights away at thirtyninehotel. We can’t live without the bar and bamboo outside Bar 35. And we wouldn’t fathom a trivia-less or Super Handsome-less world without Manifest. Heck, we’ll even miss the loco moco at Downbeat Diner and that symbolic glass dragon hanging above the bar at Lotus for all of Hotel Street to see and attempt to slay with alcoholic potion coursing through the veins.

And then there’s Kekai’s. Well… We’ll leave that at that.

The nocturnal festivities may shine brighter elsewhere in this crazy city, but BambuTwo…Here’s looking at you.

JJ Dolan’s, 1147 Bethel St., [jjdolans.com], 537-4992
Mercury Bar, 1154 Fort Street Mall, 537-3080
Bar 35, 35 North Hotel St., [bar35hawaii.com], 537-3535
Nextdoor, 43 North Hotel St., [nextdoorhnl.com], 548-6398
The Manifest, 32 North Hotel St., [manifesthawaii.com], 523-7575
Soho, 80 Pauahi St., [sohomixedmediabar.com], 545-4714
thirtyninehotel, 39 North Hotel St., [thirtyninehotel.com], 599-2552
DownBeat Diner, 42 N. Hotel St., [downbeatdiner.com], 533-2328
BambuTwo, 1144 Bethel St., [bambutwo.com], 528-1144