Most bars and clubs are 21+, which means that there is no chance
of getting in if you are under 21. The bouncers are ruthless
about this. But if you are over the sacred number, generally
sober, and properly attired (no flip-flops, tank tops or shorts)
then you’re usually in.
There are a few spots that are open for younger crowds (18-20)
one or two nights a week but don’t expect to be served alcohol.
Hard Rock Café is open for the 18-20 crowd on Wednesdays.
This spot is more of a café, chillout place than a genuine nightclub.
The line tends to get very long after 10 p.m., so be there early.
Another place that hosts an 18-20 crowd is the restaurant Todai
which gets a nocturnal makeover into the club Deep Blue
on Fridays and Saturdays. This space has two levels and two
dance floors. The DJ’s are spinning R’n’B and house records
from 10 p.m. to 2 a.m. and the crowd is laid-back, local, and
very happy. There is also a free, all-you-can-eat-but don’t-eat-too-much
Blue Tropix on Kapiolani Blvd. is another hot spot
that invites those under 21 Mondays through Saturdays. Also
a restaurant that converts into a nightclub, this one is a more
genuine R’n’B and soul club with live monkeys in a glass tank
behind the bar. A huge dance floor takes up most of the space
and often gets packed as the night rolls on. The line is split
into two sections, one for those under 21 and one for those
over 21. Be there early or expect to wait in line for at least
With a six million restoration and an extensive collection
of Egyptian art, Zanzabar has created the interior extraordinaire.
With a dance floor that can hold more than 100 and with room
for more than 800 people, Zanzabar has been, until recently,
the place to be, to see and to be seen. Yet, despite the facelift,
its popularity has varied from month to month, with a crowd
of clubbers and tourists one weekend and empty the next. Mr.
DJ regulates the crowd’s mood at the only dance floor playing
Hip-Hop, Top 40, and forceful house with a late hour transition,
3 a.m. to 4 a.m., into hard techno. Zanzabar invites their 18+
audience on Sundays and Mondays.
Splendor, magnificence, and brilliance are all adjectives appropriate
for The Wonder Lounge at W hotel, the hottest spot in
town right now. This is the place where the beautiful people
go, and those who want to be seen with them, to shake their
stuff to brilliant house music synchronized with live bongo
drums. The second dance floor plays R’n’B and Hip-Hop. The guests
range from early 20s to late 30s and sometimes even 40s. The
splendid European interior, the Long Island drinks, the rhythms,
and the beautiful wardrobes bring mingling to a high art, if
only until 2 o’clock. The Maze, across from Zanzabar,
is one of the largest club spaces in Honolulu, with 10,000 square
feet and three dance floors, each with its own bar. Surprisingly,
while the dance floors are crowded, the bars are usually half-empty,
which makes ordering (and drinking) much faster and easier.
The first dance floor, officially known as “Paradox Lounge,”
is more often referred to as “the-room-with-the-couches.” Here
is where the more sociable drink to the excellent beats of Funk,
Disco, and House-a-la-Scottie Soul (the resident DJ) and his
The second floor is the “Red Room.” Here, red lamps make the
interior look diabolical. This is where the chase for the opposite
sex often begins (and abruptly ends if done wrong). The music
played here is Hip-Hop and R’n’B. The last floor is the “Maze
Arena.” House, Hard House, Techno, and Trance follow each other
in an extravagant musical frenzy. This is the largest room with
the largest dance floor and fewest people on it. Few people
know that there is pleasant seating, often available, in a mezzanine
above the dance floor.
The crowd at the Maze varies with its dance floors and with
the nights of each week. Hip-Hoppers, soul lovers, funk kids,
ravers, and players all gather on Fridays and Saturdays to enjoy
the delights of The Maze. Also, this is one of the few clubs
that occasionally has after-hours, from 3:30 a.m., when the
under- 21 audience is welcome.
Wave Waikiki has, for the last 18 years, been one the
most reliable attractions in Waikiki’s club life when it comes
to luring the largest crowds. Wave Wakiki has probably seen
more faces than any other spot in Honolulu.
Students, strippers, tourists, and locals comprise the interesting
people you’ll find yourself mingling with long after the dark
has set in. One reason for its popularity is that anything goes
here, including flip-flops, shorts, and tank tops. The Wave
has put a few famous faces on the stage, including Ministry
of Sound DJs and John Kelley (US) amongst others. Wet T-shirt
and bikini contests occur occasionally. The DJs here confirm
that the Wave is one of the best venues to hear good beats from
every music genre possible.
A new happening for this summer is The Glitter & Glamour Experience
at Wave by The Pussycat Project crew who also handle the turntables
at Wonder Lounge every Friday. (The after-hours for Wonder Lounge
are held at The Wave every Friday starting 2 a.m.) The Pussycat
Lounge encourages their guests to dress as “outrageously fabulous
as possible” for their Glitter & Glamour sessions that take
place every month on a given date. “A high-society ball without
the snobs,” they call it. New and different DJ talents are promised
every one of these nights.
The Pussycat Lounge is at the Wave every Tuesday. The 18-and-over
people are welcome every Monday, Wednesday, and Thursday. Check
the Web site for upcoming events and calendar.
Pipeline Café, one of the few hot places to go to outside
Waikiki is located among the warehouses near Ward Avenue and
Ala Moana Boulevard. The hottest nights here are Tuesdays and
Fridays when the mostly local crowd gathers to hop-to-top 40s
and Hip-Hop. No House or Trance here.
There are two floors, with a huge dance floor downstairs and
pool tables, darts and VIP/Karaoke room upstairs. Pipeline offers
$1 drinks all night long (!) every Tuesday and Thursday, a Happy
Hour menu Monday through Saturday (4 p.m. to 9 p.m.) with plate
snacks such as chicken tenders and wings for $2. The “Foreplay
Fridaze” on Fridays offer $1 champagne for the ladies, $3 Heinekens,
and giveaways. Saturdays hosts the “Cobalt Room,” with $3 Foster’s
as well as Skyy Blue.
Pipeline has been and still is well recognized among the locals
and students as the hotspot outside Waikiki. Celebrities like
Cuba Gooding, Jr., L.A. Lakers’ Rick Fox, Matt Damon, and the
actual Mike Tyson have visited Pipeline over the years. The
dress code is synonymous with the attitudes of Hawai‘i—laid
back and indifferent.