Lucky Strike Social Honolulu recently opened two weeks ago in Ala Moana Center, in the space that was previously Shirokiya, for most of Shirokiya’s existence in Hawaii’s largest shopping center. Lucky Strike Social is a corporate chain from the mainland, with 16 locations all across the United States. It has nothing to do with Lucky Strike the cigarette company.
While Shirokiya has relocated to the new Ewa Wing as Shirokiya Japan Village Walk, a large Japanese food court, Lucky Strike has big shoes to fill. Big shoes, meaning, at least for me, I expect something GREAT to replace them. Thank God it isn’t another overpriced fashion boutique store.
And you know what? It is AWESOME. Lucky Strike is totally in it to win it as far as I’m concerned upon first impression on my initial visit this past week. While Dave & Busters in Ward Entertainment Center, next to Consolidated Theaters would be their closest competition, I don’t think D&B has anything to worry about, being they have the movie theater crowd to keep them busy. If anything, Mai Tai Bar in Ala Moana would be the one that might get hit. Unless you’re into the “meet market” scene that is Mai Tai’s, Lucky Strike has a lot more to offer with its huge arcade that you can still drink in, decent happy hour specials, plus of course that bowling alley, not to mention 2 huge bars.
So you have something for the entire family to have fun in all under one roof. And it’s reasonably priced, plus no cover to get in.
And check this out: the bar downstairs flanking the restaurant has the LARGEST LCD HDTV screen in the state of Hawaii. It measures a Godzilla-sized wall-filling 9 ft. high x 16 ft. wide. So big, it’s the same screen used in Times Square in New York. While it looks kinda’ pixelated sitting right in front of it, from aback it’s nice, and definitely a plus for Superbowl Sunday! There’s a bunch of “smaller” (about 60″ screen) HDTVs on both sides of that massive screen playing various other sports channels, plus the bar upstairs by the bowling alley also has several HDTVs as well. So sports bar flies will be happy at both bars here.
What’s interesting is how they filled Shirokiya’s former space. So the mall-level floor is still vacant, being built-out to become a new sub-divided food court. Lucky Strike occupies the 3rd and 4th level of the mall, with the 3rd level being where you enter from within the shopping center’s corridor. That level being made up of mostly the game arcade, with the restaurant and bar way in the back. To get to the bowling alley, you have to walk outside in the back, where the parking lot is on the 3rd level, and walk up a staircase to the 4th level.
There on the 4th level you’ll find Lucky Strike Social’s 4-lane bowling alley, as well as a full bar, lounge area flanking the alley, as well as interestingly, a library. Why they put a library in this day and age of smart phones is beyond me, however I’m all good with that, for however long that may last
Upon my first visit with Diner K in hand on a what you’d might expect to be a slow Tuesday afternoon, it was pretty packed on the game arcade floor. Not like “Friday night at the club” packed, but considerable.
Interestingly from what I hear, because there’s only four bowling lanes upstairs, there’s some kind of super-long waiting list to get in. Like over a year or something like that. However, on our visit, up there on the bowling alley and second bar floor, it was slow enough that we could have gotten a slot to bowl if we wanted to as soon as the next group playing were finished, which was within that same hour, according to the girl working the front up there.
As for playing video games, you need to get a Lucky Strike game card, which is like a credit card, charged up with however much cash-0-la you want to charge it with using either your debit or credit card or cash, non-refundable. Games will credit your card back based on extra points you score while playing. The card also keeps tally on your winnings to redeem prizes a the prize shop, which has some pretty cool stuff, such as name brand surfboards and electronics.
We played a couple games (amateurs!), and also sat at the bar for a happy hour beer and cocktail, as well as tried three dishes, including the Spicy Beef Satay, Spicy Ahi Sushi Roll and Cheese Quesadilla with Kalua Pig added in it. 2 of the 3 were fantastic, however the Spicy Ahi Sushi Roll was total fail. Rice sucked. Fish sucked. Sauce sucked. Other than that, the other two were winnahz!
The Kalua Pig in the Quesadilla was on-point, tasting like the genuine real deal with all its smokey, ti leaf-infused flavoring goodness, complimented by a tomato salsa that resembled Lomi Salmon, so the Kalua Pig Quesadilla tasted essentially like a Hawaiian plate wrapped up in a toasty tortilla. Nice!
The Spicy Beef Satay has a pretty spicy soy-based sauce, coming across sorta’ like Korean Kalbi, sans the sesame flavor. It had a nice grilled char on it and was overall tender, juicy and tasty. Hey, I like that last word. ;-)
View the complete Lucky Strike Social Honolulu food menu here (PDF download).
It’s worth noting that you can order food from the bowling alley and bar upstairs, however they currently have to personally walk your order up the stairs outside. They do have a “dumb waiter”, which is an elevator that will bring the food up to the bowling alley/bar, however as of our visit that wasn’t working yet.
All the staff we encountered on our visit were very friendly and pleasant, with several going out of their way simply to greet us. Our bartender Haley, who also works at Hooters in Aloha Tower was super nice. It’s also worth noting they have A LOT of people working here. I’d estimate at least 30, and this was on a work week day on Tuesday. I assume they have more the weekends. Just the restaurant kitchen alone had about 10 people working in there. They also have their own security on both floors.
If there’s any reason to go to Ala Moana Center, the new Lucky Strike Social is now what will make the trip totally worth it in my opinion. Super fun place from 8 to 80! Sorry, if you’re under or over that age, tough luck. lol
Following is a photo gallery walk through of the entire venue at the new Lucky Strike Social in Ala Moana Center, taken last Tuesday. There’s a bunch of redundant pictures that I’ll clean-up later, but just deal with it for now. All photos taken with my totally awesome new Samsung Galaxy S8+. Enjoy. :-)
Lucky Strike Social Honolulu
1450 Ala Moana Blvd. (3rd and 4th level, near Macy’s)
Honolulu, Hawaii 96814
Tel. (808) 664-1140
• Lucky Strike Social Honolulu – Yelp user reviews
P.S. This is Miles, former bartender of Maui Brewing Company Waikiki, now bartender at Lucky Strike Social Honolulu…
Miles, formerly bartender at Maui Brewing Company Waikiki, now bartender at Lucky Strike Social Honolulu in Ala Moana. Miles works at the bar upstairs where the 4-lane bowling alley is. Super cool guy!
Speaking of this type of business, this is Yours Truly with Shelby, a former bartender at Maui Brewing Company Waikiki, now bartending at Dave & Busters at the Ward Entertainment Center….