The holidays are officially here — days before Thanksgiving, The Christmas Bar Hawaii opened in the former spot of the Ward Big City Diner restaurant.
The festive pop-up is a collaboration between Tiki’s Grill & Bar and BCD, according to “partner/elf” Michael Miller.
Those who remember the first Christmas Bar in 2017 at Ala Moana Center will notice familiar features. The place is completely lit with themed Christmas trees, Christmas music playing in the background and holiday movies on the flat-screen TVs. If it seems a little over the top, there’s five times more decorations compared to the first Christmas Bar.
You’ll also find festive cocktails on “Buddy’s Boozy Beverage” menu. Butterbeer is back, along with new creations like "Frozen" Hot Chocolate. Drinks cost $7 to $10 and include a few non-alcoholic options. Stay tuned, says Miller: The drink menu will be updated once a certain movie featuring light sabers comes out.
If you’re looking for Instagram-worthy drinks, go for the Melted Snowman Martini ($10) with vanilla, cake and whipped cream vodkas, rumchata, amaretto, marshmallow, cocoa and crème de cacao. Or try the Clause-mopolitan ($9) with berry vodka, Cointreau, lime, cranberry and pomegranate juices and a sugared rim. Cocktails are on the sweeter side but what's Christmas without an extra dose of sugar?
New this year is a food menu. Kris Kringle’s Kimchee Grilled Cheese ($11) with smoked gouda, sharp cheddar and kim chee inside sesame Caesar-crusted sourdough is super cheesy with strong flavors. There's only a hint of kimchee so the spice level is mild. Tannenbaum Tater Tot Poutine ($12) features crispy golden tots covered with melted mozzarella and an addictive Island grass-fed beef gravy. Most dishes have nothing to do with Christmas — they're basically savory bar foods to balance the sugary drinks.
Photos of the Christmas Bar's lit interior don't do the decor justice. Check out the video for a taste of this season’s festive pop-up and happy ho-ho-holidays!
The Christmas Bar Hawaii
Ward Entertainment Center
1060 Auahi St.
Daily 11 a.m.-11 p.m.