After Sunset on Kauai

By Team

Sheraton Kauai Resort, Kauai. Photo: Roderick Eime.

Where do local folks hang when the moon is up and the surf is down? Their favorite neighborhood bars, of course just like people everywhere. There’s lots of them, many that feature live music, but this is an island that shuts down early so get started before 10 if you expect to catch a little action.

On the North Shore, Princeville Resort and hip Hanalei fuel the action. Sushi Blues, a trendy upstairs lounge in Ching Young Village, is getting a reputation for good food and hot entertainment. Live bands take the stage most nights around 8:30 p.m. Don’t expect a full course of either sushi or blues, the bands, like the menu, are innovative and unpredictable.

The Hanalei Gourmet, in the Old Hanalei Schoolhouse shopping center, keeps the music going until 10:30 most nights. Up the hill in Princeville, you can catch live entertainment in the Happy Talk Lounge at Hanalei Bay Resort. On Sunday, this joint, with a killer sunset view, swings with jam sessions that begin mid-afternoon.

The Po’ipu Resort area, on the South Shore, is a good place to find jazz, local sounds and a little dance music. Check out Stevenson’s Library, at the Grand Hyatt Kauai Resort & Spa, for elegant after-dinner drinks and jazz.

Keoki’s Paradise, a funky Hawaiian-style joint in the Po’ipu Shopping Village, offers food and entertainment until close to midnight. The Point, at the Sheraton Kauai Resort, is the place to go for dancing.

On the East Side, in the Kapa’a area, Coconut Marketplace offers several choices, all within walking distance of the parking lot. Hula Girl Grill & Bar, Tradewinds and Trees Lounge are good bets. In downtown Kapa’a, an open-air café called Shaka Tacos rocks the neighborhood with live music Thursday through Saturday nights. On Tuesday nights, a troupe of belly dancers takes the stage. Be warned, however, the place closes at 9 p.m.

In Lihu’e, you can go dancing every night at Rob’s Good Times Grill, a late-night sports bar that is always hopping. Duke’s Barefoot Bar, at Kalapaki Beach, is a lively beachside bar that features contemporary Hawaiian music. And back to neighborhood bars, check out Nawiliwili Tavern. It’s a good place to drop by for a cold one and play a game of darts or pool.

When you want to just kick back and hear sweet Hawaiian sounds, track down Pancho Graham. You can catch him Friday nights at the Princeville Restaurant and Bar, and Wednesday evenings at the Lighthouse Bistro in Kilauea.

The Mediterranean Gourmet, in Ha’ena, features old Hawaiian sounds played by a family trio called Na Leo o Wainiha. The group plays Monday and Tuesday evenings.

KKCR, Kauai’s Community Radio station, is a good source of Hawaiian music. Wake up to Hawaiian tunes, check out Acoustic luau Thursdays at 6 p.m., and catch up with Kauai Live, featuring live performances of visiting and resident artists, on Sunday evening. If you’ve caught the bug and want to make a little Hawaiian music of your own, check out Strings & Things in Hanalei.

There are three movie theaters on the island. The largest is in Kukui Grove with four theaters. The others are located in the Coconut Marketplace in Kapa’a and on the west side of the island in Waimea.

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