SWAM Farewell Party

SWAM Farewell PartyAfter nine years, Shiroma’s Wine and More in Aiea, affectionately known as SWAM, has closed its doors. More than just a store, SWAM also did wine tastings, discount days, workshops, parties and gatherings. It was also a social hub for its regular customers, a community of liquor, wine, beer and cigar enthusiasts who gathered to hang out, share finer vices and learn from each other.

“It was like Cheers,” one regular said.

“I’ve met a lot of lifelong friends,” said Jill. “People would just come in and talk story for hours.”

Far from disappearing, Jill plans to go mobile, ordering rare craft beers and wines from around the world, working with caterers, doing deliveries and possibly pop-up events like wine dinners.

Bully O’Sullivan, one-half of local beer blogging team Two Beer Queers, remembers how he first met Jill. “We just walked into her store one day because of the beer selection, and for weeks we’d go and grab two beers. After we got to know each other better, she said that she’d been worried that these two big moke-looking guys would come in and buy two bottles of the same beer each week. Then she found our blog and started watching our episodes,” Bully said. “I think my favorite memories are the gatherings after the store was closed. Just the funny, random stuff that we’d end up talking about, and the feeling of family.”

As a thank you to her friends and customers, Jill hosted a gathering Sunday at Rainbow Bay Marina in Aiea, for an afternoon and evening of sharing beer and cigars and talking story. Take a look!

SWAM Farewell Party

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Jill Shiroma, the dynamic little lady behind what, over the past nine years, has become far more than a store. "It's been nine years of people," she said, to heartfelt applause.

Happy birthday, Sailor Jerry!

sailor jerry
Sailor Jerry is a household name in Hawaii. The legendary tattoo artist, famous for his work on sailors and his technical innovations in the world of tattooing, used to have a shop on Smith Street in Chinatown until his death in 1973. You may also have seen his name on bottles of rum, along with his trademark hula girl art. It’s sometimes a jolt, though, to realize how influential Norman “Sailor Jerry” Collins’ methods and trademark artistic style were for the entire tattooing industry and how internationally well-respected he still is today.

I recently got the opportunity to go on a tour around Oahu in honor of Collins’ birthday. Headed up by New York-based Sailor Jerry Rum National Brand Ambassador Paul Monahan and PR maven Dana Dynamite, the group consisted of five journalists and bloggers from New York, as well as a bowling team from Los Angeles (Gerado Leyva, Ivan D. Leyva and Andres Munoz Jr.), who beat out 42 other teams in the Pins and Pin Ups tournament—a cosmic bowling contest played while drinking Sailor Jerry rum—to win a trip to Hawaii. The plan: To spend three crazy days and nights barhopping and touring the island of Oahu, while honoring one of the greatest tattoo artists to ever live.

The group landed in Honolulu on January 14, the day that Collins would have turned 104. Despite jet lag, everybody soldiered up (pun intended), and the adventure began.

Sailor Jerry Birthday Tour

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The first stop was Collins' old tattoo shop at 1033 Smith Street in Chinatown. It's more than 60 years old and is the oldest tattoo shop in Hawaii. Most recently, the spot was taken over by Chris Danley, a talented tattoo artist who, among his many accomplishments, worked as a resident artist in Tattican, the tattoo shop inside the Amsterdam Tattoo Museum. Danley restored the spot to its former glory as a tribute to Collins, but sadly passed away in July of last year. His partners continue the legacy, accepting walk-ins every day of the week.

Inside, you'll find Sailor Jerry designs on the walls, a portrait of the famous tattoo artist, Sailor Jerry flash catalogs and a vibrant vintage theme.

Something new: Boutique WhiteHOT Hawaii


Model Emmy Agustin showcases a Jovani champagne lace gown with iridescent floral beading, $799.

A new bridal salon and fashion boutique opens today in the heart of Kaimuki and we got an exclusive preview. With its clean industrial decor, the 1,200-square-foot salon still manages to exude a svelte, luxurious vibe and a fashion-forward sassiness.

Owner Daisy Merto has a degree in fashion from the University of Hawaii and managed a local bridal store for five years. She chose the name WhiteHOT Hawaii because it exudes the essence of her store: sexy, chic bridal.

Brides aren’t her only target, though. The racks also have non-bridal dresses handpicked to create a mix of modern, glamorous and sleek. Wedding gowns range from $225 to $1,650. Dresses for cocktail parties, Valentine’s Day or a girl’s night out are $49 to $229. The salon also sells show-stopping evening wear and is the exclusive retailer of New York formal-wear giants Faviana and Jovani Fashions.

WhiteHOT Hawaii

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Photos by Amanda Stevens

WhiteHOT Hawaii
3457 Waialae Ave.

Party pics: Eli-Mac & Likkle Mai

Eli-Mac, otherwise known as “American Idol” contestant Camile Velasco, celebrated the release of her “Dubstop” EP Friday night at The Republik. The sold-out reggae show also featured Japanese reggae star Likkle Mai and opened with local musicians The Vitals and The Jimmy Weeks Project.

Likkle Mai & Eli-Mac

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Likkle Mai & Eli-Mac

Party pics: Champagne, Cupcakes & Chandeliers

Ong King hosted a fun costume party Saturday night, with attendees dressing up in their finest, most dapper clothes to enjoy cupcakes, wine, Champagne and a lineup of performers that included the talented Taimane Gardner and several other live bands, pole dancers, burlesque, fire dancing and a costume contest.

Champagne, Cupcakes and Chandeliers

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Champagne, Cupcakes and Chandeliers