For 36 years, Hula’s Bar & Lei Stand has been holding it down as Honolulu’s marquee gay bar, providing a friendly and happening place to park oneself, whatever your persuasion. Just a couple of years after the nightspot opened, under a big banyan tree in a corner of Waikiki, Ed Kenney immortalized it in song, writing, "Look at all the pretty people. Look at all the pretty clothes. At Hula’s Bar & Lei Stand – that’s where everybody goes. …"
The bar celebrates its anniversary with a party Thursday and pulls out the stops with food, drinks, gogo dancers, DJs and live entertainment, including James Dela Cruz (Na ‘Opio o Ko’olau) and Derek Daniels (Hawaiian music). Guest emcee Flash (as heard on Hot 93.9 FM, at Apartment3, and at the late, lamented Wave Waikiki) will support the flow. Some proceeds support the Honolulu Gay & Lesbian Cultural Foundation.
HULA’S 36TH ANNIVERSARY PARTY
Where: Hula’s Bar & Lei Stand in the Waikiki Grand Hotel, 134 Kapahulu Ave.
When: 7 p.m. Thursday
"The vision of Hula’s was to have a place reminiscent of the old Waikiki, that was really for everybody," said founder-owner Jack Law, in a statement. In addition to running Hula’s, Law has been president of the Honolulu Gay & Lesbian Cultural Foundation and served on the board of the Life Foundation and as a member of the Hawaii Civil Rights Commission. "I always wanted to have a place where gays and nongays could have fun. It’s primarily known as a gay club, but it always was, and still is, a very mixed place. We’ve had everyone from Sir Elton John to Claire Boothe Luce, Dorothy Lamour, Dolly Parton, Bryan Singer, Margaret Cho. … It was always a place to be seen and to see who was in town."