Music, great eats, and bountiful brews—how
could you beat it?
The 5th Annual Nu‘uanu Blues, Brews, and BBQ Street Festival
took place July 15th on Nu‘uanu Avenue from Pauahi to King
Street. Just a block away from the HPU campus, the throbbing
music of blues bands and the aroma of local vendors’ tasty
BBQ plates filled the air.
According to Andrew Meader, KIPO Blues Stage accepted an invitation
to be featured at the festival. “The warm-up began at 6
p.m. and featured “Jeff Said No!” Meader said.
The traditional one-hour live recording session (broadcast August
19 on KIPO 89.3), featured Downtown Charley King, Northside Art,
and Mark Prados, three well-known blues bandleaders.
There were different scenes everywhere. At one end of Nu‘uanu,
in front of Bar 35, a DJ was spinning blues music, unfortunately
nobody was there to enjoy it. On the other end, the Cox Radio
Stage had the Honolulu Blue Devils jamming for a huge crowd.
New to the blues scene, Geoffrey Sato, 25, said, “I had
no idea something like this took place. It is a nice change of
scenery and I enjoy the music and food!”
There were three stations for beer, two on Nu‘uanu—trucks
selling brews for $5—and a stand on Hotel Street selling
bottles from Deschutes Brewery for $4.
According to Meader, more than 30 different brands of beer were served, including:
Beach Bum Blonde Ale, Kona, Guinness, Harp, Beck’s Premium Light, Bass,
Stella Artois, Pyramid Hefewiezen, Bud Light, Bare Knuckle Stout, and a selection
from Paradise Beverages.
The workers were lively and welcoming, and the Honolulu Police Department officers
were nearby to ensure IDs were checked.
No matter where you are, it’s the place to be!” said one of the bartenders.
Not only was the beer affordable and refreshing on a hot night, the food was
superb. Vendors from Murphy’s, Tea at 1024, Dixie Grill, Indigo, and O’Toole’s
lined Nu‘uanu with food to drool over.
The Murphy’s booth offered an assortment of plates: BBQ Alligator with
Cajun rice and corn, steamed clams with garlic bread, beer-braised short ribs,
and deep-fried chicken wings—all for just $8.
I wanted to try the alligator, but I don’t think I’m brave enough
for that yet,” said HPU student Lindsay Charlton.
Tea at 1024 had offered a big chicken plate for just $7 and oyster shooters and
dessert as well.
O’Toole’s had Kevin’s famous baby back ribs, juicy barbecue
chicken for $8, or both for $10, and a sweet tea to wash it down with for $1.
Dixie Grill had baby back ribs, as well, for $7, pulled pork sliders for $5,
and the famous Dixie Grill peach cobbler for $4.
On the more exotic side of the menu was a Soul de Cuba Café booth that
served only one item: chicken and rice.
Indigo offered Kurabata pork with spiced Carolina sauce, Kobe beer, and chimichurri
spiced salmon, and a vegetarian plate, each only $5, and a refreshing watermelon
slice for $1.
The food was so good,” said Leanne Fox, an HPU alumna. “I wanted
to try all the booths, but I was full from eating. Indigo’s plate with
the Kobe steak was tasty and juicy. Everything was cooked to perfection.”
Whether you like blues music or just some good old-fashioned food, or the chance
to experience a variety of beers, this is one festival that should not be missed,
especially since it’s right in HPU’s backyard.
Put it on your social calendar for next summer.