Pau Hana Patrol: Breakers offers a pau hana hangout
If you’re in need of de-stressing, a drive along the North Shore is one way to escape, if only temporarily. Breakers Restaurant & Bar easily adds to the feeling of being on vacation, especially during surf season.
The bar provides a spot for the surf crowds to hang out, with grinds at reasonable prices during happy hour from 3 to 6 p.m. Mondays through Fridays.
BREAKERS RESTAURANT & BAR
North Shore Marketplace, 66-250 Kamehameha Highway
3- 6 p.m. Mondays-Fridays
Surfboards line the ceiling and thatched umbrellas dot the patio in sync with Haleiwa’s laid-back beach vibe. The boards were donated by such surf heroes as Kelly Slater, Rob Machado, Sonny Garcia, Fred Patacchia, Kalani Robb and John John Florence — all of whom have hung out here or have friendly ties to the owner.
The establishment is owned by pro surfer Benji Weatherly’s mother, Barbara Weatherly, who said surfers often stayed at the Weatherly family home, Volcom House, in the 1980s and early ’90s.
“I think every surfer in the world came to stay with us. We fed them, gave them a place to sleep,” Barbara Weatherly said.
Now Breakers gives them a new place to hang out, serving as a primary after-party site after surf events.
ON A FRIDAY afternoon the bar was about half full and buzzing with excitement at the start of the weekend.
Most of the crowd was locals, rather than tourists. Maybe the cheap draft prices draw them in. Or maybe it’s the half-price pupu menu. Or the homey vibe.
Chicken wings are $5 for eight pieces during pau hana and can be ordered with buffalo, sweet chili, barbecue or teriyaki sauce. The buffalo wings were tasty, with the requisite spicy kick.
I also ordered the edamame for $4, and the kalua pork french fries for $4.50, which were topped with cheese. It sounded like a strange combination, but it worked, so I’m glad I ordered them — especially at the happy-hour discount.
Full-price menu choices include Cajun sashimi or crab cakes ($12.95), a basket of popcorn shrimp ($9.95) and a sampler platter ($19.95) of crab cakes, fried calamari and coconut shrimp. Pizza is also available, starting at $11.95.
Signature cocktails include Liquid Sunshine, made with coconut rum, mango liqueur and pineapple and cranberry juices. The Sparkling Pineapple Lemonade includes Skyy pineapple vodka, lemonade, a splash of soda and a dash of li hing mui.
Beer specials during pau hana include $2.50 for Bud Light and $3 for Fire Rock pale ale, Big Wave golden ale and Drop Top amber ale, all on tap, at savings of about a buck.
BREAKERS would be a good stop to have drinks and pupu with friends before heading off to see the beautiful North Shore sunset. Or to relax after a day on the beach or at work.
During Super Bowl weekend, the bar’s big-screen televisions doubtless came in handy. But if you want a little more quiet, sitting in the lounge area is an option.
The place is family-friendly, and pau hana food and drink specials can be ordered at the tables located away from the bar. It’s a nice touch that movies are continually screened to keep keiki absorbed while their parents unwind.
The bar has a tradition of allowing kids to leave their handprints and names on the wall, which stirred some envy in adults, Weatherly said. The grown-ups “started writing messages on dollar bills,” now tacked up around the bar area.
“People come back time and time again to search for their message,” she said, noting they’re pleased to find them still hanging around.
–Nancy Arcayna / email@example.com