Barfly: Pint + Jigger, Harry’s in search of new home
While the owners of Pint + Jigger and its adjacent speakeasy, Harry’s Hardware Emporium, have known about plans to redevelop the building they occupy at 1936 S. King St., it wasn’t until last month that a preliminary construction date was announced.
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When I mentioned Pint + Jigger in this column last month, it was to share the good news about Jen Ackrill making the move from Waikiki to join the bar staff there.
The news isn’t as good this time around. While the owners of Pint and its adjacent speakeasy, Harry’s Hardware Emporium, have known about plans to redevelop the building they occupy at 1936 S. King St., it wasn’t until last month that a preliminary construction date was announced.
When the Hawaii Law Enforcement Federal Credit Union purchased the property in 2018, the agency made no secret of plans to move banking operations to the site. On Sept. 28, the credit union issued a news release announcing that construction of an all-new headquarters and main branch building would begin in May 2020.
Dave Newman, who owns Pint and Harry’s along with Daryn Ogino, Grace Simon and Hideo Simon, confirmed the date last week.
“When we talked to the new property manager, he told us there were no plans for redevelopment for at least two years. That was maybe six, eight months ago.”
Newman and his partners have been looking for a replacement location for a while, he said, but the search could potentially get harder now that other landlords know they have to be out within months.
“The timing’s bad. We could have used more time to negotiate in our favor. Now people know we have to find a new location,” he said. “Even if we found a place this month and signed a lease, permitting could take three months. Then build-out could take another three to four months. So it makes it really close.”
Still, Newman insisted he isn’t too worried about having to move … yet. He remains confident a replacement space will turn up with enough room to re-create both Pint and Harry’s, with many of the same design elements in place. And he knows both bars have enough of a following that he should keep the search going.
“We’re going to try our best,” Newman said. “If we can’t find a space and get a lease signed until May, at that point I’ll be worried about how much business we’ll lose by disappearing off the planet for six months. That’s tough.
“I mean, we could do pop-ups and that kind of stuff. But I would hate to see it just go away. We have enough regulars and support that it makes sense to keep the brands alive.”