Cover Story

In this year’s bar guide, we’re celebrating some perennial faves, bars that are new, some that have changed and others too often overlooked. Having wet their beaks in a selection of Oahu neighborhoods, our bar-hopping writers provide a modern tour of the Island’s ever-changing, ever-fading revelry.

“Do you like things bitter?” ourbartender asks. My friend crosses her legs tighter, removes a wild strand of something uncouth like dog hair from the sleeve of my sweater, and hisses, “Yes.” We first overheard the news on Facebook.

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.

I owe the roof over my head to one long-vanished Honolulu bar I’ve never seen, except in pictures. It was opened on Liliha Street during the war, and it was one of the first integrated bars, where black and white servicemen were equally welcome.

With their big, glistening eyes and round heads, whiskered smiles and hand-like flippers, Hawaiian monk seals–on the federal endangered species list since 1976–make for a winsome poster child. Since the early 1990s, when sightings of the rare creatures became a regular appearance throughout the inhabited Hawaiian Islands, tourists have flocked to take their pictures.

When you think of Honolulu’s art and design scene, do you think arthropod excrement, superimposed portraits of twentysomethings, confined spaces, APEC, coffee houses and home furnishings? We do too.

This fall, from the indie cred-heavy Hallowbaloo to the big stage at the Blaisdell, mark your calendars for acts to fit any of your musical moods. Don’t forget to keep your eyes on the Weekly in the upcoming months as well.

A good potpourri blends perfumes and petals, spices and…musk. Smell informs taste, and this theatre season’s offerings range from the redolent with sentiment like Phantom (this season’s big bouquet); a cool neo-classic like House of Blue Leaves; something primal and complex like Oedipus the King; or funky like a monkey on late nights at the Kennedy Theatre.

Yes, we’re totally dying to see Daniel Craig and that chick with the mean tat. We’re also breathless with anticipation for Leo doing J.

On Aug. 31, the Justice Department sued to stop AT&T’s acquisition of rival T-Mobile, USA on grounds that the merger would result in higher prices and fewer consumer choices.

After the Aug. 3 Midweek cover story featuring the next generation of chefs, all nine of them male, some were left asking: where are the female chefs?

Dope Hits the Fan Following the legalization of pot cultivation for medical purposes in California in 1996, Humboldt County saw a 25 percent rise in per-capita residential electricity use in comparison to the rest of California, according to data compiled by Humboldt State University. Perhaps even bigger than Humboldt’s newfound thirst for grid power was its “diesel dope” scene: thousands of plants, sometimes grown in buried shipping containers and fed by diesel-fired generators, the kind used for hospitals in emergencies.

Ever since their installment in 2000, medical marijuana laws in Hawaii were made to be broken–literally. Patients who acquire a license (“blue card”) for medicinal use will find that dispensaries are illegal in Hawaii, due to the federal Controlled Substance Act (CSA) enacted in 1970.

Addiction is a slippery downward spiral that transforms substances we once enjoyed in moderation to something we can’t seem to live without. Think cigarettes, alcohol and drugs.

Best of Honolulu

Best of Honolulu

Best of Honolulu / We gather every year to toast the things we love about Honolulu–the best foods, bars, entertainers and artists and the best things around this island that keep us honest. The Best Of Honolulu issue is our way of bringing the island together–by having you tell us what you think, and responding with a few thoughts of our own.

David Cheever started his decades-long marketing career in Hawaii as VP of Marketing for a local bank. Eight years later, he launched his own marketing business, serving banks, food companies, retailers, lawyers, architects, contractors, resorts, tech companies and non-profits.

Wilco will probably never amass the mainstream star power contained in a single strand of Justin Bieber’s golden locks, but it’s not something the group’s ring leader, Jeff Tweedy, is lamenting over. The aging, grizzled dad, who resides in Chicago with his two sons and his wife Sue, feels fortunate and grateful for the more-than-comfortable success he’s enjoyed since his humble beginnings.

A retired Naval Intelligence Officer, Al Santoro, learned how to be a farmer, and then learned how to farm organically. Together with his wife, Joan, Santoro owns and operates Poamoho Organic Produce on the North Shore.

In the first issue of the Honolulu Weekly, July 17, 1991, then-editor, Julia Steele reported on the Tusitala Street evictions: All of the women left on the land agreed that they’d rather be dragged off the property than leave voluntarily. They met frequently, over coffee and doughnuts from the corner ABC store, to discuss the eviction, their options and their fate.

We couldn’t even begin to pick the best of the best, so we picked one issue from each of our 20 volumes, taped them to the wall of our War Room, and threw darts. Just kidding.

We asked five of our former editors and contributors to provide a “2011 update” on stories they covered in the past. Included in this mix is a look at Honolulu’s nightlife scene, provided by Ryan Senaga, HW Arts and Entertainment Editor who has written for the Weekly for over a decade now.

For the last 20 years we’ve eaten our way through Honolulu and beyond, writing about restaurants we love, those we don’t love and the ones most people are challenged to find. In looking through our very first volume of food reviews, we discovered that some of the first places we reviewed are still around.

The question of whether or not to expand tax credits for Hawaii’s film industry has generated quite the debate. While supporters of the bill say that the return on the investment proves to be tenfold and that it will create local jobs, people who oppose it say that the credits will only make the rich richer, taking away funding from important social services.

Tom Berg

Tom Berg / It’s news (or should be) when West Oahu’s new city councilman comes out unequivocally against the city’s $5.4 billion rail plan. After all, the primary beneficiaries of the embattled commuter train were meant to be Oahu’s westsiders, victims of one of the worst commutes on the planet.

Te Mana o te Moana, The Spirit of the Sea
Comes with video

Te Mana o te Moana, The Spirit of the Sea / It looked like something out of the movie Master and Commander. Amidst a backdrop of fog and the drizzle of constant rain, a fleet of seven South Pacific voyaging canoes dropped anchor in the bay near Kualoa Regional Park Saturday before undertaking a voyage to the west coast of the Mainland.

This week