Art happening in Honolulu

Chinatown's gallery scene is where it's at

Derek Paiva

After a few false starts, downtown Honolulu's Chinatown gallery scene is now a don't-miss. The main reason? First Friday Honolulu evening gallery walks, which give locals and visitors a compelling reason to wander the streets in search of art, entertainment, and top-notch dining.

On the first Friday of each month thousands converge on the once-notorious red-light district for the collaborative open house. The event's surprise success has made it a catalyst for changing the fortunes of not just the gallery scene but the downtown scene in general.

The Pegge Hopper Gallery
Hopper is known worldwide for her paintings depicting the poetic grace of Island women. Closed Sun-Mon. 1164 Nu'uanu Ave.; 808/524-1160.

The Arts at Marks Garage
The group here spearheaded the creation of First Friday Honolulu. Closed Sun-Mon. 1159 Nu'uanu Ave.; 808/521-2903.

RRed Elephant Cafe
Local art, robust house Kona coffee, pastries, and artisan gelato. Closed Sun. 1144 Bethel St.; 808/545-2468.

Indigo Eurasian Cuisine
An upscale fusion of Eastern and Western cuisines in a coolly romantic setting with huge scarlet lanterns. $$$$; Closed Sun-Mon. 1121 Nu'uanu Ave.; 808/521-2900.

Hanks Cafe Honolulu
A charming, tchotchke-filled bar showing the owner's Polynesian-themed paintings. 1038 Nu'uanu Ave.; 808/526-1410.

By night, home to an eclectic lineup of art, live jazz, and late-night turntablism. By day, a Wi-Fi cafe with lectures and art classes. Closed Sun-Mon. 39 N. Hotel St.; 808/599-2552.

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