Tiki’s: Serving up good food and fun for 20 years

Business Matters

HONOLULU (KHON2) — For more than 19 years, Tiki’s Grill and Bar has served up good food, live music and great fun seven days a week. They have done so with a front-row seat to a near-perfect view.

“Beautiful sunsets every night of the week,” said Bill Tobin, owner of Tiki’s Grill and Bar.” Unless the clouds are in the way; we can’t control the weather.”

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Tiki’s was started by three guys who decided to do something fun.  

“We started with three guys who went to the University of Hawaii together. And we thought that we wanted to open up a restaurant together, a place that we wanted to go to ourselves,” Tobin explained.

Like most people who venture into the restaurant business, there were challenges along the way and many costly lessons.

“But the thing that really saved us as we were busy from the get-go, we hit it out of the park in regards to customers coming in. We’ve had the ups and downs and tourism, now COVID and now the labor market,” Tobin added.

“But we find ways to survive. We know we’re survivors.”

Bill Tobin, owner of Tiki’s Grill and Bar

Part of that survival instinct is going back to what they set out to create in the first place: someplace fun.

Enter the Christmas Bar.

From fun to the food and everything in between, Tobin said his secret recipe for success is not a big secret at all.

“I would say being genuine and taking care of people,” he stated.

This is why Tobin also said a big part of his staff has stuck around from the beginning.

“I’ve been here for over 10 years, some of the kitchen staff has been here for over 20 years,” said Ronnie Nasuti, executive chef at Tiki’s Grill and Bar. “It’s fun, it’s a great place to work. I get to come to Waikiki, work on the water and a great boss. We have great bosses.”

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“We feel very proud of that,” said Tobin. “I think of this as a place where they can come to work to not only sustain themselves but also enjoy working here and enjoy the working environment.”

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