NEW ROOFTOP LOUNGE ‘EXPERIENCE’ DEBUTS THIS WEEKEND
Boasting ocean views that stretch from Diamond Head to the west side, rooftop bar and bistro SKY Waikiki has been garnering plenty of buzz since initial plans first were announced a couple years ago. We’ll finally learn what all that hype is about when it opens its doors this weekend atop the 19th floor of the Waikiki Business Plaza.
To kick things off, SKY hosts a series of grand openings, starting with an invite-only reception Aug. 28, followed by two public grand openings, at 9 p.m. Aug. 29 and 4 p.m. Aug. 30. Big names, including Brody Jenner and Devin Lucien, who are DJing Aug. 29, and The Green, who will play Aug. 30, are joining in the celebration.
“It’s the first of its kind,” says managing partner Jovan Andow of the venue. “When you are on the deck, and you actually get to see the vantage point that we have — the panoramic view —it’s pretty amazing. With that vantage point, there is nothing like it.”
Developed by Kainoa Akina, Alika Mau, Leighton Mau and Darren Seu — who also own Waikiki Business Plaza, Waikiki Shopping Plaza and Top of Waikiki, which is two floors up from SKY — the venue came out of a desire to create an elevated night out. Plans have been in the works for a while, but as Andow sees it, any wait was a good thing.
“It’s not really a delay, per say, in our eyes — it was an opportunity to make our venue better,” Andow says, explaining that they have expanded upon the initial floor plan.
According to Andow, a major draw — in addition to the view — will be the food and drinks.
Director of mixology Jennifer Ackrill explains that the drinks menu is a meld of innovative craft cocktails with classic Hawaiian drinks — all utilizing fresh ingredients.
Heading up the kitchen is executive chef Lance Kosaka, who previously worked at Alan Wong’s and Cafe Julia. (Both Kosaka and Ack-rill also are with Top of Waikiki.)
The menu is comprised of what Andow describes as social cuisine: “It’s meant for groups to come in and order multiple dishes and just have a great time,” he explains.
In crafting the menu, Kosaka says that he tried to “give it a little local flavor.”
“We have taken a lot of concepts that we see, and we have elevated them to a format that hasn’t been really pushed before,” Andow adds.
Take, for instance, SKY’s iteration of Popcorn Shrimp, which already has proven to be a favorite among staff.
“Everybody takes shrimp and deep fries it, but we were thinking, ‘How can we make it really like popcorn?'” Kosaka explains.
So Kosaka created a play on Hurricane Popcorn, infusing the shrimp with furikake.
Taken all together, Andow says he sees SKY as a multi-faceted venue. Experience, actually, is the word he keeps stressing:
“We say ‘experience’ because … it is a space where people can come and have pau hana drinks; it’s a space where people can have a dinner, but not in a formal dinner setting; it’s a place where groups can come in and have a celebration; it’s also a place where you can come in and have a corporate event, or even a wedding,” Andow says.
“This whole venue is about being fun,” Kosaka adds, “and having a good time.”
SKY Waikiki will be open seven days a week, 4 p.m. to midnight Sunday–Thursday and from 4 p.m. to 2 a.m. Friday and Saturday. For more information, visit skywaikiki.com.
CHARITABLE BUSINESS: BERETANIA FLORIST
Everything’s coming up roses Sept. 2 at Beretania Florist — quite literally, as the shop will be giving away 7,700 roses for free for its annual Good Neighbor Day.
Here’s how it works: Anybody can pick up a dozen free roses from the shop. Keep one for yourself, and then share the rest with 11 other people.
“I love Good Neighbor Day because the concept is simple and refreshing,” says Beretania Florist sales and marketing director Reece Farinas (pictured above). “When people come to our flower shop to pick up roses, they sometimes ask two or three times, ‘But really, what’s the catch?’ When we tell them there is none, they are shocked.”
Farinas — the youngest member of the third-generation family-owned business — explains that they throw the event each year as a way to thank their customers. (They settled on the number 7,700 to celebrate 77 years of business.)
Beretania Florist simply asks you to extend the altruism by bringing in a donation for Hawaii Foodbank. Last year, the shop collected more than 1,000 pounds of food for the food bank.
Customers often come back and share their stories of what they do with the roses — handing them to neighbors, co-workers and even strangers they pass on the street.
“It’s exciting to know that in just one day we’ll be making 7,700 people happy, all for nothing in return, except for a donation to the food bank,” Farinas says.
Beretania Florist is located at 1293 S. Beretania St. Good Neighbor Day kicks off at 7 a.m. Sept. 2. Roses will be distributed while supplies last. For more information, find Beretania Florist on Facebook and follow it on Instagram @BeretaniaFlorist.