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Manifest Cafe & Bar

Manifest is a cafe by day and a bar/club by night. The venue is known for its extremely sleek and modern interior, as well as their commitment to promoting local art on its walls. A fantastic place to sit and drink an espresso.

Photo by dearjme

I stumbled upon Manifest one day whilst exploring the Downtown/Chinatown area of Honolulu. The entire district is never ending with small shops, boutiques, cafes, and mom-and-pop restaurants, it’s simply a Lomographer’s dream!

Photo by dearjme

Being a self-proclaimed coffee enthusiast, I almost doubled over in extreme glee when seeing the coffee machine standing proudly upon the bar at Manifest.

Granted, Manifest is known more so for its bar happenings during the evening; when art shows, live music concerts, and the usual meet and mingle happens…But that’s not really a scene I frequent, so I wouldn’t know first-hand.

Photo by dearjme

However, what I do know is that this cafe is seriously cool.

One wall is made out of red brick, and brings a nice element of the raw building material into play with the art that proudly hangs upon it. I’ve been told that the exhibits change monthly, which shows great potential for Hawaii’s art scene, which tends to burst widely in the Chinatown area.

The rest of the cafe is mostly cement, utilizing clean, crisp lines around the bar and mural area, which brings a contemporary feel to the customers.

The service, on the other hand, is lackluster, to say the best. There is usually just one person at the bar, which isn’t a bad thing, but the interactions I’ve had with the barista all three times I’ve visited Manifest have been nothing worth praising. No smiles, no welcomes, no inclination to show a pleasant vibe at all. Perhaps that’s just the way hipster baristas run things in these artsy areas, but it does make me sad – I honestly do love everything else about Manifest, but the poor service prevents me from coming back more often.

Photo by dearjme

Apart from being a tad bit too quiet, Manifest is a great place to sit with a friend (not really a group-friendly cafe) and chat softly about the day. There are comfy couches and tables that provide enough room for anyone else trying to study or read.

Photo by dearjme

Overall, Manifest is a great cafe for enjoying the building’s aesthetics, and taking in the culture of the young art scene in Hawaii. It’s quiet, quaint, and perfect for taking a break from the bustle of Downtown. Manifest shows strong promise, and I hope to see how the cafe improves!

written by dearjme

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