Senor Frog's Secret to Success

Charles (center) and staff on top of the bar shooting tanks of CO2 at the crowd below.

Photos: Christine Hitt

Senor Frog’s just celebrated its one-year anniversary Monday, July 28, 2008. Voted “Best Bar to Get Wild In” in our December 2007 Best Bars issue, Senor Frog’s is unlike any other bar, club or restaurant in Hawaii. 

Tourists are its market, but I’m noticing more and more locals are discovering Senor Frog’s. Why has this place become more popular than any other place on any given night of the week?  (Believe me, I’ve seen it.)

Let’s face it… It’s not the food.  (Sorry, guys.)  The music annoyingly bounces around from hip-hop to house to Latin to ‘80s. The conga lines scream “Tourist!” and make even locals wince. The balloon hats are only fun till 9 p.m. and the karaoke nights may as well be re-labeled the gong show—seriously, they actually have a gong.  So what is it that drives people to stay in this hedonistic Mexican Toontown?

The emcee.

There are two emcees, Charles and Daryl, that share the title of Director of Entertainment at Senor Frog’s.  The emcee “is what Senor Frogs is and what it’s all about,” explains Charles.  “It’s what sets us apart from all the other nightclubs.”  He’s absolutely right.  No other nightclub, or bar, in Hawaii uses the emcee like Senor Frog’s does and these guys, who were trained at Senor Frog’s Cancun party headquarters, do an excellent job at entertaining the crowd.

Daryl (left) leading staff and customers to Grease’s "Greased Lightning."

You will see them with their hand-held mics center stage dancing, singing, joking, laughing, roaming around the bar—sometimes, even on top of the bar—interacting and entertaining the customers with funny contests in day, risqué contests at night, and they lead Senor Frog’s staff in choreographed and costumed dance performances, such as to Michael Jackson’s “Thriller” or to Grease’s “Greased Lightning.”  

What I love most about these guys is that you never know what to expect any night of the week, and that’s fun!  I thought I had this place figured out after becoming a regular until the emcee, with staff, pulled out four large tanks filled with compressed CO2 air, jumped onto the bar and started blasting the crowd with it.

The blow-up frog.

Waikiki would be a pretty boring place without the crazy variety that Senor Frog’s has to offer.  So, next time you see a blow-up frog wobbling around the streets of Waikiki, follow him over to Senor Frog’s, get a Wacky Cucha in a yard glass and let these experienced emcees take control of your night.


Want to check out Senor Frog’s?  Here are the details:
Open 7 nights a week.
Best nights to "Get Wild" are Thursday – Saturday (expect a line).
21+, open till 4 a.m.

Royal Hawaiian Shopping Center 2201 Kalakaua Ave., Suite 313. 440-0150. 11 a.m. to 4 a.m.