The History of Pau Hana

The literal translation of the Hawaiian word “pau hana” means “after work.” Traditionally, pau hana happened after the plantation laborers finished work for the day and they gathered for afternoon drinks. Often, the drinks were accompanied by small appetizers known as pupus. Over cold drinks and delicious appetizers, the laborers talked about their day, their families, politics, and sports. They’d bring their musical instruments for impromptu musical performances as well, known as “kanikapila,” which literally means “sound and string instrument.” Bars across Hawaii continue this tradition today with their happy hour specials.

Pau Hana at Kawailoa Tavern

Kawailoa Tavern honors our plantation heritage by channeling the pau hana spirit with Haleiwa’s best happy hour. Like our family before us, our happy hour focuses on creating an environment where patrons can enjoy good company before a Haleiwa sunset. We bring in Haleiwa’s most talented musicians for a sunset kanikapila while guests enjoy our happy hour specials.

happy hourDraft beers are $7 while our bottled beers range from $3-4. Guests can indulge in our Asian themed cocktail infusions featuring locally made alcohol combined with locally grown fruits.

Guests can try Hawaii’s only adult shave ice, or snow cones, featuring Daiquiri, Margarita, Mai Tai, and Pina Colada flavors. Guests can also make their own by choosing their favorite liquor and syrup. Alcohol shave ice goes perfectly with a Hawaiian sunset and the sounds of an ukulele.

Our $8 appetizer menu will satisfy anyone’s hunger after a long day of work, surf, or sightseeing. Our happy hour appetizer menu features signature dishes like kimchee mac-n-cheese, smoked pork, fried noodles, freshly made poke, ribeye, and smoked brisket.

Enjoy happy hour like locals do at Haleiwa’s best pau hana spot, Kawailoa Tavern. Stick around after pau hana to play Haleiwa’s only shuffleboard table, hard-tipped darts, and various board games as well as sing karaoke. Still hungry? We serve dinner until 10 p.m. and feature more music and late night appetizers until 12 p.m. on the weekdays and 2 a.m. on the weekends. Check out our menu online, and call us at (808) 744-3754 to ask about specials.