What Would Hawai‘i’s Top Bartenders Choose as an Epitaph?

We asked our city’s beverage experts what they might like written on their tombstones.
bartenders
Honolulu bar experts gather at Pint + Jigger to tell us about their would-be epitaph. From left, Dusty Grable of G Lion Group; Dave Power of Fête; Dave Newman, Pint + Jigger/Harry’s Hardware Emporium; and Ku‘ulei Akuna, Ritz-Carlton’s La vie and quiora restaurants/Harry’s.

 

For our 2020 Restaurant Guide we dived big into the beverage scene and talked to many of Honolulu’s top bartenders and mixologists. Since bartenders are often asked to ponder life’s bigger questions with patrons, we knew they’d be up for slightly macabre questions. Here we share what final words might someday appear on their tombstones.

 

Dave Newman 

Pint + Jigger, Harry’s Hardware Emporium

 

“Found something he loved and let it kill him.”


 

Bill Comerford

O’Toole’s Irish Pub, Kelley O’Neil’s, Anna O’Brien’s and The Irish Rose Saloon

o'tooles
BILL COMERFORD CONTEMPLATES HIS POTENTIAL TOMBSTONE OVER A GLASS OF REDBREAST WHISKEY AND A PINT OF SMITHWICK’S RED ALE AT O’TOOLE’S.

 

“The Lord called Last Call

I knew it was time 

to finish my drink and leave

I did and left with a smile.”


 

Allie Haines

Ritz-Carlton’s La Vie and Quiora restaurants

 

“It could always be worse.”


 

Ben Flores

The HI Brau Room

Hibrau
Beverage director Ben Flores reflects on his potential last words and last drink at The HI Brau Room.

 

“It’s a Kurt Vonnegut quote: We are what we pretend to be, so we must be careful about what we pretend to be.”


 

Dusty Grable

G Lion Group Hawai‘i, which includes La Vie and Quiora restaurants

 

“Cheers!”


 

Ku‘ulei Akuna

Ritz-Carlton’s La Vie and Quiora restaurants/Harry’s Hardware Emporium

akuna

 

“Mahalo everybody for such a beautiful life.”


 

Chuck Bussler

Fête

 

“Mine’s easy from owning a restaurant: A gentle reminder … pay your bill.” 


 

Jerah Mikami

Suzie Wong’s Hideaway Bar/Nico's at Pier 38

bartender
JERAH MIKAMI CHECKS OUT LIFE THROUGH AN ICE SPHERE.

 

“‘See you later, f–kers!’ (What I always say when we cheers to a round of shots!!)”

 

Read more stories by Robbie Dingeman

 


Every year we venture out to research our Restaurant Guide, eating and drinking across the state to put together this special edition. Somebody’s got to do it. For the Where Chefs Eat issue, we also asked bartenders and other beverage experts to tell us what they’d want on their future tombstones. Read the annual Restaurant Guide when it hits newsstands in March or purchase it at shop.honolulumagazine.com. Subscribe to the print and digital editions now.