Downtown Honolulu is becoming a center for dining, socializing, and hospitality. What are the current trends in the dining and cocktail business? Why are entrepreneurs selecting downtown to open restaurants and cocktail bars, and what makes the location a good “fit” for these establishments?
Our two panelists are from some of the most popular places to eat and drink in downtown Honolulu: Lucky Belly, Livestock Tavern, The Tchin Tchin! Bar, and Bar Leather Apron. They will discuss the current concept for their businesses, the business strategy of locating in downtown Honolulu, local trends in the food and beverage industry, and offer their insights on the national and global scene.
Dusty Grable and Chef Jesse Cruz opened their first restaurant, Lucky Belly, in 2012, followed by Livestock Tavern in 2014, and The Tchin Tchin! Bar in 2016. All are located in Chinatown. He has worked for some of Hawaii’s most popular venues and also in San Francisco, where he had the opportunity to learn in a city that breathes food and beverage. Dusty will speak about current trends in the restaurant business, and why his establishments have been so successful.
Justin Park is Bar Leather Apron’s head bartender and ambassador. Located in the Topa Financial Center, Bar Leather Apron is an intimate cocktail bar in downtown Honolulu. Justin will speak about the recent rise in sophistication and popularity of high-end mixed drinks and cocktail establishments. With over a decade of experience behind the bar, Justin sees the creation of the cocktail drink as merely one component of the entire bar experience—presentation, service and setting are equally as important as what is in the glass.