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Honolulu Restaurant, Alexandria, VA (restaurant)

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Name:Honolulu Restaurant
Street:5634 Telegraph Rd
Phone:(703) 960-3668

Owned by David & Anna Chan -- David was head bartender at the Washington, D.C. Trader Vic's http://www.tikicentral.com/viewtopic.php?topic=37740&forum=2 during the 1970s, and he and Anna opened Honolulu Restaurant in 1978. Honolulu closed on April 10, 2004 when an expansion project on a nearby bridge forced its closure.

On 2002-08-29 16:42, ikitnrev wrote:
I did a review of the Honolulu for Tiki News, and have excerpted some additional comments here for you to read.


Located off of Telegraph Road just a few hundred feet south of the Beltway and I-95 interstate, the Honolulu is easy to miss. It sits off the corner of a busy intersection and is visually overshadowed by the 7-11 immediately next door. Once one parks in the limited parking space and walks in the front doors though, one will be immersed in the best Polynesian decorated restaurant in the D.C. area.

The lights are low, two deep blue colored landscape scenes are located on opposite walls, and indirect lighting is provided partly through giant translucent seashells.  The setting is rather intimate - several times I have stopped in for a Mai-Tai and found myself the only customer in the restaurant.  This is the type of small, family owned and operated businesses I like to frequent, the type where the owners will simply close down the restaurant for several weeks whenever they choose to take their family vacations.  

The Honolulu Restaurant opened in 1977, but the original owner was forced to sell it only ten months later. The restaurant's saving knight was a man named David Chan, who bought the restaurant with his wife Ann in the summer of 1978. Returning to the D.C. area after two years of operating a restaurant in Saskatchewan, Canada, Mr. Chan decided the warmer D.C. climate was more appealing and has since kept the restaurant running for 21 years.

Except for a remodeled bar, the restaurant appears much as it did 21 years ago.  Mr. Chan has significantly improved the bar area from its previous closed in closeted state to the more accessible wide-open look, which enables one to watch from your table as David and Ann mix their top notch tropical drinks, including the house favorite Mai Tai.  It is obvious that Mr. Chan has an artistic touch.  He not only is an expert at mixing drinks, but also drew the pictures of the drinks contained in the full drink menu.  

 Mr. Chan has extensive drink mixing experience, having been a bartender at the now closed Washington D.C. Trader Vics restaurant from 1970 through 1976.  This was the era of the Watergate controversies, and the tropical d├ęcor of Trader Vics proved to be an irresistible location of escapism for then President Nixon. David Chan did meet and shake hands with President Nixon at Trader Vics, and remembers how Nixon would usually visit either in the daytime or on a weekend so he could enjoy his favorite drink - the Navy Grog.  Mr. Chan has personally served President Ford, his vice-president Nelson Rockefeller, and most likely quite a few other senators, representatives, and other movers and shakers of our nation's capital


the majority of the decor from the honolulu was purchased by a couple who live in alexandria, and they have recreated the interior inside an outbuilding on their property.

[ Edited by: Johnny Dollar 2011-02-17 20:09 ]

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