Ginza Hawaii

Photo: Courtesy Ginza

Ginza opened this past January on Kona Street, between Pensacola and Piikoi Streets in Honolulu. Named after a high-end restaurant and shopping district in Tokyo, this new nightclub seems to be the talk of the town ever since. It is marketed and managed by the same group that manages Ka Restaurant & Lounge and Tsunami, but the overall look and feel of the place isn’t comparable. I found Ginza to be more exciting, because it is, after all, a nightclub. And, what makes this place even more buzz-worthy is that it’s actually members-preferred.

“We issue VIP cards because of the limited capacity in there,” explains managing partner, Dave Ung. It’s open to the public with a cover charge starting at $15, depending on the night and time, “but if it’s reaching capacity, we’ll shut it down to the public and let in only members.” And, with a VIP membership price tag at $2000 annually, that seems only fair.

The bars are lit in back by Ginza cityscapes.

Photo: Courtesy Ginza

The night I visited, I was lucky enough to find a Ginza-regular to give me a tour of the place. Taking my arm, my new friend walked me inside. The club is made up of two large, square rooms that are connected. As you walk into the first room, you’ll notice tables and chairs sectioned off for bottle service on one side, and a bar on the other. After stopping off at the bar to get some cocktails—and, after being pointed out by a random person that I was one of only two Caucasian people there—my friend led me into the second, larger room. Yes, the crowd is mostly Asian.

The second room was very crowded. The DJ booth was spinning Top 40. More bars and tables lined the edges of the room. And, everyone else was left in the middle—dancing, mingling and having fun. “I love the people here!” my friend yelled out to me, “everyone is so nice and I love the music.”

Ung adds, “Our focus is on young professionals, downtown business people. We like to focus type of clientele that is not the troublemaker.” And, having a members-preferred club in an otherwise semi-sketchy area solves that problem successfully.

Membership costs $2000 annually and applications are available at the door. It includes VIP access for you—and, your friends depending on the night. Bottle service is purchased separately, starting at $200. Dress code is fashionable attire only; men must wear collared shirts. 21+, $15+, Friday and Saturday 10:30 p.m. to 4 a.m., 1240 Kona Street.