The REAL Deal


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HUSBAND-AND-WIFE TEAM TROY TEROROTUA AND LISA KIM KNOW A THING OR TWO ABOUT CRAFT BEER, GOOD EATS AND FURRY FRIENDS. All three concepts, in fact, are at the heart of their newly reopened REAL gastropub, located on the ground level of Keauhou Lane in Kaka‘ako.

While Terorotua often is seen as the face of the biz—and is known for his acumen in all things beer-related—Kim, for her part, heads up the restaurant and bar’s marketing efforts. In fact, she still owns and operates her own marketing consultancy LAK Enterprises, and helps Terorotua manage BREW’d craft pub in Kaimuki, too.

“I called it a marketing business because the word ‘marketing’ is quite a broad term,” she says.

Indeed, Kim’s talents rum the gamut from public relations, writing and sales to crafting marketing plans and planning events of all sizes. Little did she know that her background in this arena would set the foundation for her current role in Hawai‘i’s craft beer scene.

Kim, a Hilo girl, met Terorotua back in 2003 during a chef’s mahalo party she was putting on for a client. And the

rest, as they say, was history. “I told him that he had really nice eyes,” she recalls with a laugh. “They’re really blue.”

Thus sparked what would eventually become the foundation for a pioneer- ing endeavor for the duo, who were at the forefront of the craft beer movement in Hawai‘i when they opened REAL a gastropub at Ward Farmers Market in 2012.

“I remember when we opened, we were worried if people were going to come,” she says. At the time, Kim adds, domestics and those iconic “green bottles” were the go-to drink. REAL, then, was a leap of faith for both, with Terorotua serving as the man behind the counter and Kim wearing hats as marketing coordinator, hostess, busser, barback and more. “We were doing all things on our own, but it took off and fortunately did well,” she says.

With developments forcing the pub to close in 2017, the couple searched far and wide for another location to suit

REAL’s menu is nothing short of extensive, but there are few items on there that Kim absolutely raves about such as the pork belly-topped Smokey Mac and Cheese (photos courtesy Real Gastropub).

their needs—but one that would also be able to house their new dream of launching their own line of brews. When the space at Keauhou Lane opened up, they jumped at the chance and opened their doors earlier this spring. Now, customers can expect the same curation of craft brews and good food—and, soon, REAL’s own Bent Tail Brewing Co., which will kick off with two exclusive beers under the label.

At the end of the day, though, the mission behind REAL is to serve as a gathering place that expands people’s horizons in the most delicious way. And, it’s been an honor, to hear Kim tell it. “It’s been exciting to do, and it’s very gratifying,” she adds.

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