Real a Gastropub Reopens, New Craft Brewery Up Next
Real a Gastropub unveils its brand new digs and also announces a new brewery.
photos: David Thompson
When Real a Gastropub opened seven years ago, its immense selection of craft beers and creative American pub fare quickly gained it a devoted following. Five years later, after a rollicking drain-the-kegs farewell party, the beloved Kaka‘ako watering hole closed and bulldozers razed the old Ward Village building it occupied.
Now, after construction delays that stretched for a year, Real reopened last Friday in a new Kaka‘ako development, Keauhou Lane, a mixed use project featuring below-market apartment rentals and local retailers including Down to Earth. (And if Honolulu’s rail project is ever completed as planned—talk about construction delays!—the line’s Civic Station Center will be right next door, bringing even more foot traffic.)
Owner Troy Terorotua in front of the new Real a Gastropub on keawe street.
The re-established Real is an upgraded and expanded version of its original self, but it hasn’t lost touch with its essential “everybody’s beer bar USA” nature. “We’re not trying to reinvent the wheel,” says owner Troy Terorotua. “We’re just trying to reopen the best craft beer bar in town.”
Terorotua has filled the 3,692-square-foot space with rustic industrial touches, along with seating for 150, outdoor tables and a wrap-around bar. (For the plugged-in types, note the 24 electrical outlets to charge up. But no wi-fi.) Behind the bar, 33 beer taps confirm that the gastropub’s celebrated beer program is set to pick up where it left off.
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The new brewing tanks for bent tail brewing co.
But the biggest new development on the beer front is a forthcoming in-house brewery, the Bent Tail Brewing Co. (named after Terorotua’s dog’s crooked tail). The gleaming stainless steel brewery tanks are in place, and Terorotua is hoping to start pouring in a few months.
Chef Lee Warnick, the executive chef of Real’s sister restaurant Brew’d in Kaimukī, has tweaked and expanded the menu. Popular dishes like the brisket poutine ($14) have made the move, as well as the burger ($16), though with a garlic IPA mayo instead of bacon jam. The roasted Brussels sprouts, sadly, didn’t survive the transition, so the new fried cauliflower on crunchy long rice ($13) and tempura shimeji mushrooms ($13) will have to do.
Bent tail burger ($16)
Also new are a Chamorro chicken kelaguen ($12), a popular dish in Guam similar to ceviche, and smoked Duroc pork chop ($21).
After all the waiting, it’s safe to say that Real is finally back for real. And it’s not going anywhere anytime soon. Terorotua signed a 20-year lease. “We’re in it for the long haul,” he says.
Soft opening hours: 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Grand opening March 18, then open Sunday to Thursday from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. and Friday and Saturday from 11 a.m. to midnight, 506 Keawe St., (808) 200-2739, realgastropub.com.