THE NIGHT STUFF
Detox just waiting to be discovered
By Derek Paiva
Advertiser Entertainment Writer
|Bartender Titan Burns serves up the brews. There's a pupu menu at Detox to go with the drinks.
Photos by Rebecca Breyer The Honolulu Advertiser
|Darren Loui, left, and Stephen Ayau both chose to sit at the bar, but there are also couches and booths. There are sports TVs, of course, and evening music acts plus darts, pool and Mega-Touch.|
|Megan Ingoldsby chats at the bar with Tony McBride on a Thursday evening.|
DETOX SPoRTS & ENTERTAINMENT CLUB
Where: 1192 Alakea St. (corner of Alakea and Beretania streets), second floor, 526-0200.
Hours: 2 p.m.-2 a.m. daily, food until midnight, happy hour daily 4-7 p.m.
Age of crowd: 20s-50s
What to wear: Casual attire or office wear OK.
Nightly entertainment: Call for details. Detox's Web site (detoxclub.net) could use more updating.
A bar called Detox. What, was On The Wagon already taken?
But all kidding aside, I'd really like downtown Honolulu sports-and-entertainment bar Detox to find a niche and succeed. It wouldn't take all that much to make it so much better.
Occupying the entire second floor of an oddly situated two-story walk-up on the corner of Beretania and Alakea streets, Detox has been open for about a year. With its maroon walls, black ceilings, ample booth and bar seating, and smallish windows giving the room a cozy yet cavern-like feeling especially post-sunset when the glow of scattered neon beer lights are all that seem to illuminate it Detox all but oozes inviting sports-bar comfort.
On the night a friend and I stopped by, pool tables, dart machines and Mega-Touch games were getting their fair share of use. ESPN glowed from several scattered televisions. And a klatsch of black couches in a darkened part of Detox was filled with Hawai'i Pacific University students discussing hip-hop and the housing crunch.
Yet despite being within walking distance of many downtown offices, Detox had just 25 or so patrons at pau hana on a Friday. We tried to figure out why.
In addition to the comfy atmosphere, we liked Detox's quick and attentive service. Our server was friendly enough and always made sure we were well taken care of.
Detox's menu of local-style bar pupu was unfussy, if slightly ill-portioned. (Our only problem with our otherwise OK selections was a way-too-small portion of kalbi for $8 that arrived strangely fried instead of grilled.)
But a sadly unused-at-pau-hana-hour stage and dance floor was likely the biggest reason Detox wasn't exactly bustling.
Owner Sam Preechar said that getting a consistently crowd-pleasing mix of nightly entertainment for Detox has been his biggest challenge. In the last year, Preechar has tried DJ and karaoke nights and live jazz, Hawaiian and rock music.
Some have stuck. Some haven't. But Preechar vowed he would keep trying.
Here's hoping he gets it right soon.
Reach Derek Paiva at email@example.com or 525-8005.