Get Your (Spiked) Spook On at the Ghost Bar
This seasonal horror-themed pop-up bar at Ala Moana Center is only open through Oct. 31.
The Green Lady ($7) is a refreshing combination of shochu, lemon-lime soda, melona syrup and a splash of rice milk.
Photos: Catherine Toth Fox
Last year, I thought the pop-up Christmas Bar at Ala Moana Center was genius.
Then, on Oct. 1, a horror-themed pop-up bar opened in the ‘Ewa Wing facing the parking lot (right next to Jamba Juice) for Halloween, and now I’m wondering which I prefer.
Outside the Ghost Bar, which is open in the ‘Ewa Wing of Ala Moana Center through Oct. 31.
During Christmas, it’s the stress of shopping, spending and string of parties that drives me to grab that glass of wine. Which is why the Christmas Bar was so brilliant. You’re at the mall, you’re tapped out, you’ve maxed out your credit card. You need a drink.
But Halloween is pure fun. There’s no stress associated with the holiday (unless you have kids who need Insta-ready costumes and spooky treats for their classmates, but, let’s be honest, Christmas is worse). So tossing back a shot of Patron delivered in a plastic syringe is just something to do on a Sunday night.
Which is exactly what we did.
Our group of Halloween-loving misfits had been planning a visit to the Ghost Bar, concocted by Noa Laporga and Angelina Khan, the pair behind the creepy Haunted Plantation attraction at Hawai‘i’s Plantation Village in Waipahu every Halloween. (They partnered with longtime restaurateurs Riki Kobayashi and Masaki Sasada to open this seasonal bar.)
We settled on a Sunday night to visit, which turned out to be a smart move. “You should’ve seen the line last night,” Khan said, describing that it snaked out the door, along the sidewalk and into the mall. “Good thing you came today. It’s not that crowded.”
Not crowded? I looked around the bar, which occupies the space vacated by Ninja Sushi. Every table was taken.
Inside the Ghost Bar on a recent Sunday night.
Khan grew up watching horror movies with her mom. In fact, her favorite movie is the 1973 The Exorcist. She saw it when she was 5.
Since then, she’s been all about horror and—no surprise—Halloween. In addition to running the Haunted Plantation attraction, she has organized a horror-themed escape room and zombie apocalypse experience in the past. This year, it’s a bar.
“We thought it would be really fun,” she said.
And the place is fun—and really spooky. There’s a coffin you can stand in for photos, a demented clown with its mouth wide open on one wall, shelves of creepy dolls (and doll parts) on another, and a very disturbing figure of what looks like a bloody bride shoving a sword down her throat.
The décor is part of the fun.
But once you get over the unnerving décor, there are drinks!
The menu features a variety of alcoholic and nonalcoholic drinks—you can even order a glass of wine or draft beer—and a few bar snacks, including seasoned edamame and mixed nuts.
Of the drinks, the most popular is the Killer Clown ($10), a desserty cocktail made with horchata rum cream liqueur, coconut rum and milk topped with whipped cream and ube powder.
The Killer Clown ($10) comes with a red clown nose.
The Vampire Bite ($8) features lime gin, blue curacao, cranberry juice and grenadine—and comes with a pair of plastic vampire teeth.
A hit with the group was the Faceless Lady ($7), a refreshing combination of shochu, lemon-lime soda, lychee syrup and a splash of rice milk. (The Green Lady is basically the same drink but with melona syrup instead of lychee.)
We were excited about the idea of the Pumpkin Pie ($9) cocktail, with horchata rum cream liqueur, vodka and pumpkin purée. But at first it wasn’t sweet enough—until we mixed the whipped cream into the drink and then voilà, pumpkin pie.
The Vampire Bite ($8) combines lime gin, blue Curacao, cranberry juice and grenadine. The best part? It comes with a pair of plastic vampire teeth.
And the syringe shots ($8) are just fun. You can choose from a shot of Grey Goose vodka, Patron tequila or Jameson with strawberry, lemon lime or lychee syrup. It comes with a chaser of lemon-lime soda.
We wanted to split the trick-or-treat bowl ($25)—a plastic jack-o’-latern filled with a mixture of light rum, lime gin, vodka, fruit juices, liliko‘i syrup and grenadine—but the bar had already sold out of this—and it wasn’t even 8 p.m.
Our advice? Go to kick back with friends, dress up if you can, and eat before (or after). And consider going on a Sunday night.
Ghost Bar, 1450 Ala Moana Blvd., ‘Ewa Wing, open 2 p.m. to midnight daily through Oct. 31, (808) 372-9618, ghostbarhonolulu.com.