Ten Eleven Bar Opens on Kakaako Waterfront

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Situated perfectly between downtown and Waikiki along the waterfront at Kewalo Harbor, the Makers & Tasters food park and market now offers luscious libations daily through the new Ten Eleven bar, which celebrated its grand opening tonight.

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Makers & Tasters is the permanent and ruggedly picturesque descendant of the massively popular but only periodic “Eat the Street” food truck rallies. Launched in August, the former site of the Fisherman’s Wharf Restaurant at the makai end of Ward Avenue hosts a rotating mix of food trucks, plate lunch tents, dessert counters and other vendors. But for all the good food, the availability of alcohol wasn’t always guaranteed.

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With the Ten Eleven bar, which houses most of its mixologists inside a shipping container, thirsty patrons can now cool off and loosen up after a long day at work (or a long day surfing) with beer, wine, and custom cocktails every day of the week. There will also be happy hour specials as well as a “drink of the day” concocted in partnership with one of the day’s food vendors.

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But to live up to the “makers” brand, the Ten Eleven bar invites customers to “Craft Your Own Cocktail.” You can choose from several varieties of vodka, gin, whiskey, rum, tequila, and cordials, and add fresh-pressed mixers (like pineapple, cranberry, and watermelon) and syrups (like lemon, lime, and mint). And the Ten Eleven crew can mix your drink right at your table.

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The bar is operated by Free Spirits Hawaii, the same team that Street Grindz has worked with for years to serve up drinks for its special events, from Eat the Street to Honolulu Night Market. But it now has a permanent home at the head of a raised wooden deck situated centerstage in the middle of the ring of Makers & Tasters food vendors.

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I was delighted to run into Street Grindz cofounder Poni Askew at tonight’s grand opening celebration, who told me that Makers & Tasters has only just begun to blossom. She and her partner and husband Brandon are preparing to introduce a more regular mix of permanent and rotating food trucks and vendors, and are meanwhile looking for ways to integrate their waterfront food park into the itineraries of tourists that flow past on Ala Moana Boulevard by the thousands every day.

I’m not a drinker myself, but I can certainly appreciate the intoxicating mix of alcohol, great food, and a sunset waterfront view. Especially after a long week, Ten Eleven and Makers & Tasters makes for an enticing destination on an Aloha Friday like today.

The Ten Eleven bar and Makers & Tasters are open for lunch and dinner from Monday through Saturday. For more information, including the daily schedule of food vendors, check out MakersandTasters.com, or connect with them at @makerstasters on Twitter or on Facebook.

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