Experience the newest hot spot in Waikiki

Call the new RumFire at the Sheraton Waikiki what you may: a bar, a lounge, a club or even a restaurant. And you’d be right – and wrong. Even Kelly Sanders,

Sheraton Waikiki general manager, can’t quite put his finger on it. And he’s the guy who created the place.

“Because we have a full menu, it’s like a restaurant – but it’s not a restaurant and it’s really not a bar,” says Sanders. “It’s difficult to put your arms around, but it’s more about the experience. It’s a place you can come off the beach and have a great snack, or come in for happy hour with your friends, or just watch the sunset, and then it gets very hip at night. It’s not just a bar, lounge or a nightclub or a restaurant. It’s all of that, depending on the time of day.”

They’re calling it: Tapas, Tastings and Libations.

Sanders says, “It’s simply hot.”

And that’s not just a figure of speech. Private fire pits adorn the stylish outdoor lounge sections, perfect for cozying up with that someone special or socializing with colleagues and friends. The flame-carved fire pits are just one of the well-thought-out elements that create a relaxed, upscale and warm atmosphere, with a view that simply can’t be beat. Adding to the warmth of the room is a signature tower of world-class rum, emitting a heated energy with the vibrant red, orange and yellow hues.

With ceiling-high glass windows that slide open to let in the ocean breeze, RumFire lets in all the beauty of a Waikiki beach-front setting.

“We wanted to create a new bar experience, and we spent a lot of time really looking at what would be a different and unique experience on Waikiki beach,” says Sanders. “So we started looking at creating something that had a Hawaiian element, but stayed true to a more-modern approach.”

So why rum? “We started talking about rum because rum is made from sugarcane and sugarcane is in Hawaii, so that’s that great tie-in

that we could play with,” says Sanders. “Plus, there’s some great rum distillers in Hawaii. And rum is the new cocktail – we’ve gone through the whole vodka and martinis. And rum is like cognac and a fine scotch, it’s aged in a barrel. It is really about the next wave. It’s the drink for ’08 and beyond.”

RumFire’s rum selection of more than 100 different varieties makes it the largest selection in the United States.

And the food? “I like to use a lot of high-quality products and ingredients, and I wanted to make it comfortable, where it’s more a bar or lounge-style menu with tapas, tastings and smaller portions,” says chef Colin Hazama, whose resume includes gigs at Alan Wong’s Restaurant, Restaurant Gary Danko, Roy’s and Hoku’s.

Menu items include Fire-Grilled Mahi Mahi Tacos, Cast Iron Seared Scallop Salad, Garlic Wok Fried Rice, Soft Shell Crab Reuben, Inside Out Musubis and Charred Baby Back Ribs.

“Colin is awesome,” says Sanders. “He said, ‘I want to do ribs.’ I’m like, ‘This is Hawaii. If you’re going to do ribs, you have to do the best ribs because that’s a tough thing to do mediocre.’ And the ribs really are the best.”

RumFire: a tasteful oasis within an oasis that promises to be Oahu’s hottest place to be and be seen.

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