Wings officially spread

  • Left to right, Bennett and Delphina Dorrance, Blue Dragon owners, smile down from their establishment with chef Craig Sharp, chef Carter Chu, culinary masterminds and operations manager Chris Scelza. (Courtesy photo/The Blue Dragon)

KAWAIHAE — For almost three years Blue Dragon laid in hibernation, but no more.

The Blue Dragon Tavern &Cosmic Musiquarium across from Kawaihae Harbor opened Sept. 28. Offering live music, dancing, concerts and events, plus a new full casual-fare dinner menu, local brews and house-crafted cocktails island residents and visitors can enjoy family-friendly fun and fresh meals nightly Wednesdays through Sundays.

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Johnny Shot will play at 5 p.m. tonight, DJ Maylan on Saturday and Nino Ka’ai on Sunday. Door cost is $5.

“Evenings at the Blue Dragon are absolutely magical,” co-owner Delphina Dorrance said in a press release. “Once you walk through the doors you are right back outside again, so overhead is a canopy of palms, sunset colors during happy hour, and then the evening performance and dinner is accompanied by the night sky.”

The Blue Dragon is a project by 1Heart, Delphina and Bennett Dorrance’s new parent company, which helps steward community-minded, purpose-driven properties and initiatives that cultivate health and well-being of people and planet through food, arts, culture and ecology.

“We want to make our decisions with heart,” said co-owner Bennett, who is currently completing a graduate course in executive sustainability leadership. “For us, this means aligning with nature and land; we’re guided by the principles of sustainability and our vision is to support ongoing well-being for Kohala.”

Blue Dragon Tavern further strengthens 1Hearts’ commitment to provide support for local food and farms in ecologically-minded ways: house-made pupus, dinners and desserts come mostly from ingredients of island farms and fishing operations including Sunrise Farms, Kohala Organic, Sage Farms and the Kohala Mountain Fish Company, a sustainably designed on-land tilapia farm also co-managed by Bennett Dorrance.

Back in 2016 during a jazz cabaret evening, the Blue Dragon experienced a sinkhole in the parking lot, which led to what was expected to be a temporary closure. Designing and permitting the new underground system had multiple layers of obstacles to work through, the owners said, so the team also focused on offering a new venue to the community at the Kohala Village HUB.

Manager Chris Scelza joined the team and helped the HUB PUB become a Kohala family-friendly staple.

But then a no-fault electrical fire destroyed the Dorrances’ second restaurant in mid-March of this year. While estimated to be two years for the HUB PUB rebuild, Kohala Village HUB INN reservations for rooms and suites, HUB learning center classes, programs and campus rentals continue at the nearly 6-acre Kohala Village HUB in the heart of downtown Hawi.

“As soon as the HUB PUB fire settled we knew we had to continue to provide community gathering space, local farm and business support and especially employment for our team, so knew it was time to awaken the Blue Dragon and open Kohala Village Bodywork,” Delphina said.

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The group just recently received the demo permit for the HUB PUB old Luke’s building.

Blue Dragon hours of operation are 5 p.m. until close, between 10-11 p.m., Wednesdays through Sundays.

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