Truth from Dare: Painting the town red

Jul. 23, 2015 | 0 Comments

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BY DERIN DEREGO / Special to the Star-Advertiser

If you’re a regular reader of this blog, you know I’m constantly perusing the island for new things to do as my attention span is virtually nonexistent. While the nightlife scene in Honolulu has made some strides in its offerings, notable newcomers are usually few and far between. And on the LGBT horizon things are usually even more stagnant.

KAT WADE / Special to the Star-AdvertiserThe author with friends at Scarlet Honolulu's opening night on Friday.

KAT WADE / Special to the Star-Advertiser

The author with friends at Scarlet Honolulu’s opening night on Friday.

A couple of months ago gay sports bar LoJax jumped ship for hetero waters and became a straight bar. While I wouldn’t call myself a regular at any of the local LGBT establishments I was disappointed when LoJax switched teams as it left one less venue catering to the gays in Waikiki.

Not to be cliché but, as they say, “when one door closes, another opens.” Enter Scarlet Honolulu, a festive new space focusing on the LGBT audience in the heart of Chinatown. The offspring of the ultra-successful Scarlet Chicago, the nightclub is a collaboration between the Chicago spot, fashion line Heatherette’s Traver Rains and local entrepreneur Lanai Tabura.

I have to admit when I first heard someone was opening a gay joint at what used to be The Fix (and SoHo Mixed Media Bar), I was skeptical. The oversized space was by no means upscale, so I had doubts as to what could be done to it to attract what many would consider the cattiest and most judgmental of audiences. After attending the opening last weekend I was pleasantly surprised. The fellas revamped the entire club with a dollhouse theme that’s unlike anything we’ve seen in Honolulu, and the lighting and sound system provide the perfect backdrop for resident DJ Luna from Chicago. Kudos Scarlet Honolulu. I’m looking forward to all sorts of amazing shenanigans going down right in my backyard.

For those of you who aren’t into the nightclub scene there are some other events going down this weekend that might tickle your fancy. Kicking off this Friday is Comic Con Honolulu, from the people who brought you Kawaii Kon. The festival, which takes place at the Hawaii Convention Center and runs all weekend, will feature all things comic- and superhero-related and even appearances by actors Edward James Olmos, Sean Maher and others.

Also going down Friday is the closing of “The Doctor Is In,” a live, interactive art exhibit at Hound and Quail on Maunakea Street in Chinatown. If you haven’t been to Hound and Quail you need to pop in just for the stores eclectic inventory including taxidermy pieces and antique knickknacks.

On Saturday, catch Late Night Alumni at The Republik. The duo, known for their blending of house music with melodic vocals and live string instruments return to Honolulu for one night only. Their unique sound has garnered the group numerous accolades and a strong following among music lovers who tend to be more mature than your usual EDM fare.
When he’s not out and about at the hottest parties and other events in Honolulu, Derin “Dare” Derego works as an account executive at a local radio station group. Reach him via email at or follow him on Twitter.

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