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Local night life evolves with student's new club

by Sophie Georgiou, staff writer


Many HPU international students attended the Aug. 5-8 weekend grand opening of Buddha Bar at 260 Lewers St. in Waikiki.

The opening featured well-known DJ names from the mainland as well as from the islands, complimentary drinks, and bold and beautiful minglers and minglettes who toasted the new hot spot in town.


“It was about time a place like this opened on the island,” said Rita Kristjans-dottir, a senior from Sweden majoring in advertising at HPU. “I missed this way of partying,” she added, referring to the popularity of this kind of club in Europe.

Buddha Bar is an evolutionary step in Honolulu’s nightlife, bringing it up to date compared to mainland and European standards of socializing and lounging, said Victor Venson, director of public relations and marketing as well as co-developer of Buddha Bar.

“ It is a combination of a club and a bar,” he continued, “featuring lounge music, Hip-Hop, house, and jazz, and offering the relaxing ambiance of drinking, socializing, and dancing.

“ Hawai‘i’s night life is 10 to 15 years behind the mainland and Europe,” said Venson.

Venson is a senior at HPU, majoring in public relations and advertising. In the past he has organized parties for HPU clubs as well as for Indigo Restaurant and Royal Garden Hotel.

Buddha Bar provides the convenience of valet parking and two floors for clubbing. Downstairs is the main bar, DJ booth, and the VIP lounge with table reservations and bottleservice for those who choose to enjoy a bottle of Dom Perignon, Louis XIII, or some other top-shelf bottles. Upstairs is the chill-out lounge where you can rest while still listening to music.

The original facility was a traditional Chinese restaurant and elements of its roots still exist in lamp and candlelighting and in deep red-colored rooms. However, it has been transformed into a contemporary Euro-Asian club with a chic, chill-out atmosphere.

Buddha Bar has a $10 cover per person and a strict dresscode (clean tucked-in shirt for men and an elegant outfit for women). It will regularly have special events, Venson said, featuring renowned DJ’s and live-act bands from the mainland and even Europe.


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