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Cocktail Piano Rooms » Honolulu: Canlis

Back in the early 1960s shortly after we moved to Hawaii, we were invited to dine at Canlis, Honoluluís leading restaurant at the time. In an internationally acclaimed, award winning lava rock building in Waikiki, we found a lush tropical garden-like setting with a wall of many-colored orchids, ceramic and wooden sculptures by well known artists, a dramatic copper broiler where the finest of steaks and seafood sizzled in full view, and where formal kimono-clad Japanese waitresses moved with mincing steps and humble bows to take orders.  

B&W Photo by Honolulu Advertiser

Canlis during its hey day

The lovely orchid entrance


The private dining room for special occasions

The wonderment we felt at all this was over-shadowed by the sound that emanated from the Steinway grand played by one of the very best cocktail pianists I have ever heard. Though both food and setting were superb, the music made the evening live on vividly in my memory.

Sadly, I must report that Canlis in Honolulu no longer exists, having been torn down by developers for other uses. But I keep Canlis in the list of great piano rooms to show you what this most perfect venue was like in its heyday. And as the old song says, "The song is ended, but the melody lingers on".

Think about a special person and your favorite tune coming from that Steinway grand

Color Photos by Augie Salbosa

New York: The Rainbow Room

New York: The Mayfair Hotel, Lobby Tearoom

San Francisco: InterContinental Mark Hopkins, Top of the Mark

Honolulu: Canlis

Honolulu: Halekulani Hotel Lewers Lounge

Budapest: A Fish Restaurant

Hong Kong: Four Seasons Hotel, Lobby Lounge

Memphis: Peabody Hotel, The Skyway

Other Cocktail Piano Rooms