First look: Bevy in Kakaako

Christian Self (right) behind the bar at his new spot, Bevy. For more photos, check out the Bevy opening photo gallery.

Photo by Kelli Bullock

Popular Honolulu bartender Christian Self, along with co-owner Timo Lee, opened Bevy in Kakaako last Friday. It occupies the former dive bar/karaoke space, Scores, retaining the original rock walls while infusing an industrial chic that's starting to characterize this block of Kakaako.

Self describes Bevy as "a place where people can gather. It's also English slang, as in, 'you can have a beer…or a bevy.'" Self, known to Honolulu bar patrons for his drinks at Thirtyninehotel (where he's still in charge of the bar) and the former Edition, says his new space is "meant to be that New York or European-style neighborhood bar," with "the lost art of conversation" as its modus operandi.

The setup is completely different from Thirtyninehotel. Bevy's bar has more than a dozen seats, giving patrons an opportunity to sit with Self and go on a cocktail odyssey. "The whole place is set up to drive conversation," Self says. In the works: an oyster happy hour with punch service for two or more. 

On Bevy's opening drink list (which had already been revised by Saturday): the Red Square, with botanicals steeped in vodka—essentially transforming it into gin—hibiscus, Lillet Rouge and Fizzy, a carbonated powder. It began velvety and almost chewy and finished bright and effervescent.

Also on the menu: Na Notte, Bulleit whiskey with Nocino, a green walnut liqueur; the Julep, rye and mint flavored with Self's housemade sarsaparilla syrup, giving it a vanilla and root flavoring; the Mai Thai, Self's take on the Trader Vic classic, changing up the usual formula by adding lemongrass syrup, falernum, and a candied ginger foam. More classics with a twist: Bevy Martini, made with lavender-infused vermouth, and the house gin and tonic, with New Amsterdam gin and a housemade tonic syrup.

Check back on Biting Commentary for a full report in a month or so.

661 Auahi St., 594-7445,