Safehouse, a lounge inside the Republik
Photo by Christina Liu
Safehouse indeed. This new lounge, in the concert venue Republik, is like an oasis in the decidedly sketchy outskirts of Ala Moana mall. The stench of urine, the empty warehouse-like buildings: all that falls away once you step inside Republik, a project between BAMP (a concert production company) and Chip Jewett, who was a partner in Apartment3 and Pipeline, both now shuttered. Safehouse feels like the swanky love child of the two: an LA-chic place to grab a drink and snack. The drink menu is impressive: A Scotch drink combines Talisker, Campari and vermouth with expresso beans resulting in unexpected harmony. The classic cocktail the Last Word mixes gin, maraschino liqueur, chartreuse and lime juice for sweet and sour balance.
Not everything works, though: the Jack fizz falls flat—the whiskey somehow completely obliterated underneath seltzer and lemon.
Abe Jazmin of the Tiki Truck provides the food at Safehouse, which includes a dragged-through-the-garden Louisana hot link, grilled and topped with pickled papaya, tomatoes, onion and "crack sauce," sort of an Asian-spiced tzatziki. It's killer, and only $5. The Reuben Press ($11), though simple, is also worth a taste: pastrami sandwiched between pita with spicy mustard on the side.
Currently, Safehouse is open on non-concert nights, Tuesday through Sunday, 6 p.m. until 2 a.m. Kitchen closes 11:3o p.m.
Cocktails $9 to $12
Safehouse, 1349 Kapiolani Blvd., jointherepublik.com