Honolulu’s abundant coffee and food scene is just getting a little richer: 9Bar is a new coffee and healthy food destination in the Kaka’ako neighborhood of Honolulu that is currently undergoing significant development and revitalization. Equipped with a powerful Modbar espresso machine and a Compak grinder combo, they are also rocking equipment from Fellow, Joe Tap and Mahlkönig. The space has been carefully designed to maximize conversation and community. Consider this a new must-have on your list for Honolulu’s coffee scene.
As Ryan Plaza Sprudge said, Lead Barista at 9Bar HNL.
For those who are unfamiliar, tell us about your company?
We’re a brand new coffee, breakfast and bakery store opened by a group of people who are passionate about quality food service and community building. Stephen and Tracey Seta, self-described foodies and coffee nerds, brought our team together to create a concept café that focuses on specialty coffees with the best possible food and service.
The Setas are no strangers to coffee. You have worked in the industry for several years, marketing high-priced premium coffees that are primarily sold to visitors. Despite working in an industry they were passionate about, the Setas felt unfulfilled. In Hawaii we have an affinity for culture that is very community-oriented and flooded with the spirit of “aloha”. So our priority now is not only to offer coffee that visitors would appreciate, but also to create products that locals might love and enjoy too. The team’s vision is to share the love and appreciation for coffee culture and freshly prepared food with the community.
9Bar HNL knows that there is no better complement to a good cup of coffee than a selection of heartwarming foods. That’s why the Setas and their team are just as passionate about fresh, homemade pastries and breakfast as a complement to their coffee. The menu consists of rustic-style dishes that the Setas enjoyed as children. This is the inspiration for 9Bar’s menu. Her recipes are traditional comfort foods made to highlight seasonal ingredients. The selection ranges from homemade pastries such as biscuits, bundt cakes and scuffins to creative breakfast bowls filled with hearty vegetables and proteins. With an emphasis on balanced flavors, there are many sweet and savory options available to everyone. However, since coffee is the perfect breakfast partner, breakfast options are offered throughout the day.
Can you tell us something about the new room?
Our space opens in a brand new mall in the heart of Honolulu, Hawaii. The district is called Kaka’ako, formerly an industrial area that is currently being revitalized with urban shopping, restaurants and apartments for the local community in Oahu. We wanted to create an open atmosphere for the community where we can collect and exchange ideas while enjoying excellent coffee and food. 9Bar will have a modern design with an industrial flair. Long counters and benches are available to guests, where they can enjoy their coffee and baked goods. The white walls and geometric lights create an ambience of elegant simplicity. The unique coffee bar has low counters to encourage open conversations between customers and passionate baristas.
How do you deal with coffee?
When it comes to coffee, our approach is transparency. We want our guests to see everything we do to perfect our craft and share some of our knowledge with them. We strive to have open conversations between our baristas and guests while maintaining the community atmosphere and our passion for the service of food and drinks.
Any machines, coffee, special equipment in a row?
We’re going to introduce a unique, purpose-built modbar that either one or two baristas can comfortably work side by side. With two Compak grinders between the two Modbar stations, we made it possible for guests to see all aspects of our beverage creations. We also use the Joe Tap system for our nitro infused cold brew coffee. This will ensure consistency while properly infusing the cold brew with the nitrogen. Joe Tap is the first coffee-centric cold brew coffee system and we are excited to see the results. We will also be making an assortment of coffees to pour over on different devices. To achieve this, we will introduce the Stagg pouring kettle from Fellow, Acaia scales and a Mahlkönig EK 43.
What is your hopeful opening date / month?
Monday 8th August 2016.
Do you work with craftsmen, architects and / or creatives you’d like to mention?
INK Architects, PacCon Construction, ADI Design Group (interior design): These three companies helped us with the planning and construction of our spaces.
Kona Coffee Purveyors: They helped us extensively with our modbar layout and the design of our espresso blend.
Photos courtesy of Nathan Hall.
19th August 2016