While most of the surrounding businesses have changed many times over, Chart House, adjacent to the Ala Wai Harbor, is still ensconced same walls and ambiance as it was when it opened in 1968. It’s dark, with many wide booths, more than 50 pupu (appetizers), quality steaks and seafood and live music every night. There’s a dining room on one end and a long bar and ample lounge on the other. Guy Maynard, the head bartender, is as much a fixture there as the sunsets and sailboats outside.
In February, Maynard will celebrate his 37th year at Chart House. “I started as a bus boy and worked my way up,” says Maynard while making his famous Guy Tai—a version of the Mai Tai he created that’s become a tourist checkpoint on its own.
General manager Scott Okamoto says that tourists mainly head to the dining room for a dinner and sunset; the locals cruise to the bar where there’s live music every night. On the dining room side, the menu is broad, ranging from fresh Chilean sea bass from the Honolulu Fish Auction or Alaskan red king crab legs to shiitake stuffed, shichimi-seared chicken breast with citrus soy cream or three variations of the New York strip: Australian Tajima Wagyu, Hawaii Ranchers and New York strip loin top choice. There are also daily and monthly specials.
Fresh oysters are always a popular item, and Chart House’s oyster bar features shucked-to-order Goose Point Washington and Kumamoto oysters, as well as clams, in 6-, 12- and 24-piece groups ($17-$69).
The lounge menu is extensive, and happy hour prices are low enough that you can taste a lot of food without bouncing a check. Happy hour is every day from when the doors open until 7 p.m., and then 10 p.m. until close.
Chart House Waikiki
1765 Ala Moana Blvd.
[D:2 Waikiki Map]