It’s no secret, we love a hidden gem here on the Sayles Team. From the back alleys of Honolulu, the sidestreet sois of Chiang Mai, Thailand, to the cozy cobblestone corridors of Florence, Italy, our team has constantly searched for the best, local, secret hideaways. Located in Haiku, tucked away on the North Shore, is truly one of these hidden gems here on Maui: Colleen’s Restaurant & Bar. This intimate and newly redesigned establishment has been serving locals and visitors alike since 1992. But its recently crafted cocktail bar is undoubtedly all the rage for this side of the island. If you’re looking for a locally owned and frequented spot to enjoy a cold drink and some good company, the bar at Colleen’s is the perfect place to be.
We’ll start with the cliches, because hey, that’s not always a bad thing! At Colleen’s, you’ll find a friendly and welcoming atmosphere, evoking a Hawaii of years past. The bartenders are always ready to chat and pour you a drink, and most regulars happy to strike up a conversation with newcomers. The walls are adorned with local art, and the low lighting and wooden decor give the bar a rustic and authentic feel. There are a couple of TVs usually playing local surf competitions, but staff can always change to the hottest national game currently airing, whenever those match-ups may be.
Of course, what would a bar be without its drinks? Colleen’s Bar offers a wide range of beer, wine, and spirits, with a particular focus on local and Hawaiian offerings. You’ll find Maui Brewing Company’s beers on tap, as well as a selection of craft cocktails made with fresh, local ingredients. And if you’re feeling peckish, the bar also offers the neighboring restaurant’s full menu of tasty inspired fare, including daily fresh catch fish specials, burgers, pizzas, salads and more!
What To Order From The Bar At Colleen’s…
Browsing the menu of craft cocktails can be a bit intimidating. No worries! We’re here to help with suggestions of some of our favorites. Starting with the…
The Cane Fire uses smokey mezcal as its base to wonderful success. It’s truly one of the better cocktails served on Maui! This libation blends sweet, sour, spice and smoke together perfectly, as pineapple and passionfruit serve to brighten the ancho chile and jalapeno foam. We used to be opposed to mezcal cocktails, thinking the base overwhelmed the rest of the beverage. But one sip of the Cane Fire and we were quick converts.
Lilikoi (passion fruit) is one of our favorite tropical fruits in cocktails for good reason. They have the perfect mix of luscious candy and floral notes with puckering acidity. The Leilani Sour served at Colleen’s is a bit of a rift on the classic Whiskey Sour. Poured here using Irish Whiskey, the vanilla and oak characteristics of the spirit blend with lemon and lilikoi to make one delicious libation. They also suggest using vodka for an even more effervescent flavor.
Kiawe Grilled Pineapple & Ginger Margarita
The first sip of this cocktail is a delightful explosion of flavor. The palate is greeted with the unmistakable taste of charred pineapple, imparting a smoky note that adds depth and complexity to the drink. The sweetness of the pineapple also shines beautifully, while the finish is offset by the heat of freshly grated ginger, which lends a refreshing, zesty kick that lingers on the tongue. The mouthfeel is silky and smooth, with just the right amount of acidity from the lime juice that cuts through the sweetness and balances the flavors. The rim of the glass is coated in a smattering of coarse salt that provides a subtle crunch and enhances the savory notes of the drink. This is rift on a classic that you must indulge!
Colleen’s really is a must-visit for anyone looking for a relaxed and authentic Hawaiian bar experience. With its friendly atmosphere, talented mixologists, tasty drinks, and beautiful location, it’s no wonder that this bar has become a beloved local institution. So the next time you’re on the North Shore in Haiku, be sure to stop by the bar at Colleen’s for a cold drink and some good vibes.
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Anthony Sayles R(S)