Farewell, Mr. Power. We’ll Miss You.

by Justin D'Olier on July 12, 2011 | (2) Comments |

Everyone remembers their first time.

The excitement. The nervousness. The awkwardness. The fear of fully placing your trust in someone else. The fumbling. The indescribable feelings. The brief moment of wondering whether it’s actually happening and whether you’re doing it right. The incredible rush of sensation and flavor. The search for the right words and wondering whether it’s appropriate to say anything. And, when it’s all over, the powerful sense of calm, contentment, and desire to do it all over again and again and again.

Losing your cocktail virginity is a watershed moment for every drinker and I’ll always remember Dave Power for taking mine.

Dave Power

This man took my virginity.

Eight months ago I attended a special cocktail themed wine-down Wednesday at Town, the first event officially recorded by Drink with Aloha, where Dave paired a series of dazzlingly diverse, pants-wettingly delicious drinks with Town’s fabulous food, culminating in a Guinness cocktail matched with a wild mushroom risotto that shook the foundation of my pedestrian palate and made me rethink the concept of cocktails. His combination of cocktail wizardry, ingenuity, balance, restraint and, most importantly, fervent passion for making, sharing, and discussing his creations literally and figuratively¬† knocked my socks off (an impressive feat considering I wore slippers that night). From that moment on, I have been a devoted denizen of the Church of Power.

I quickly learned that I was not alone.

Everyone I talked to that made or imbibed cocktails lauded the ability of Dave Power. The only person who doesn’t consider Dave Power one of the best bartenders in Hawaii is Dave Power (yet another reason to love him). He makes drinks without ego or agenda. If he borrows a recipe he credits it on the menu. He goes out of his way to ascribe the quality of his drinks to anyone or any thing other than himself. He just wants to share his joy and wealth of knowledge about all things cocktail with anyone fortunate enough to cozy up to his bar. Above all, his zeal, passion, and borderline childlike enthusiasm for the craft of cocktail defined the Dave Power experience.

He’d explain that, among bourbons, Maker’s Mark uses that most wheat making it the most sweet and Bulleit uses the most rye making it the most spicy, leaving every other bourbon to fall somewhere in between.

He’d detail how he tracked down each of the 17,265 ingredients for Don the Beachcomber’s long lost secret Zombie recipe.

Dave didn’t serve drinks, he served stories in six ounce installments; glasses of gluggable history; a quaffable crash course on cocktails.

Unfortunately, on Saturday, July 16th, after three unbelieveable years behind the bar at Town, Dave Power is taking his talents to the Garden Isle. That’s right, as of Monday, the Top 5 must-see Kauai landmarks (in no particular order) will be as follows:

1. Na Pali coastline
2. Waimea Canyon
3. Kalalau Trail
4. Poipu
5. Dave Power

(For the record, Dave narrowly knocks the Koloa Rum Distillery out of the Top 5 by virtue of the fact that he can make cocktails with Koloa Rum. Postcards Cafe, Tropical Taco, the cinnamon knuckles at Kalaheo Coffee Company (mmm….knuck), and the wine and cheese selection at the Princeville Foodland – the best underground gourmet grocery store selection in the civilized world – round out the Top 10.¬† No, Hamura’s Saimin did not merit consideration for the list. It’s noodles in a bowl, people. Calm down.)

Kauai’s gain is Oahu’s loss and Dave’s knowledge, ability, and flair for imagination, will be sorely missed.

Luckily, for Oahu residents, the cocktail service at Town won’t skip a beat. Kyle Reutner, Town’s regular Thursday bartender, will assume the role of head bartender and if anyone can match Dave’s compendium of cocktail knowledge, it’s Kyle. Kyle shares Dave’s passion for simple, classic cocktails and I can assure you, with complete and utter confidence, that the drinks and Town will continue to moisten your drawers. (Yes, you will still need to bring an extra pair of underwear if you order cocktails at Town.)

But, we’ll miss Dave Power.

We’ll miss his goofy grin and trying to figure out what it meant…he’s like the Mona Lisa of cocktails.

We’ll miss the magical glint in his eye that lit up like a Filipino Christmas tree every time someone asked him to make them a drink.

Most of all, we’ll miss his smiling face behind the bar, ready to greet us and accomodate every request with grace and class.

We will miss you, Dave Power. We will miss you a lot.

We know you’re moving on to great things, but you will be sorely missed. Now, if you’ll excuse us, we need to research group rates on flights to Kauai.

2 responses to “Farewell, Mr. Power. We’ll Miss You.”

  1. Dave Newman says:

    Sadness. Wishing Dave the best of luck in his new endeavor and knowing that this is an incredible opportunity for him, does not lessen my selfishness of wanting to be able to sit at his bar at Town and take advantage of his skills. Dave will be missed more than he can imagine. On the bright note I have heard rumors of a group excursion to wreak some havoc on the Garden Isle….
    Best of luck Dave!!! See you soon…muahahaha!

  2. Totally agree, Dave. Garden Isle, here we come…