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Hula Café, Whitianga got it right!

On Saturday night, as part of the big weekend and beginning at 5pm after all rugby games had finished, Hula café opened its door to the town. It was a celebration of four years being open. A simple burger and tacos menu (vegetarian included) was offered, a wide range of non-alcoholic and bar drinks; a DJ desk and operator, outdoor casual dining with a brazier spreading warmth and a welcome with its glow.

Prices were standard and affordable. Families came early. There was space to move around, plenty of seating in their garden area and the music was background and light pop. Later in the evening when families had tucked in at home; the music got going, and the acts, Corrosive Moses, and DJ’s, Sose and Sunray (hip hop and reggae), got very busy. The crowded space indoors with disco lighting, and pumping music made for a very popular dance scene. For a breather, you could find seating outdoors by the brazier fire and engage in a drink and conversation, which ranged from political to environmental and relational.

Congratulations to Rachel and Gabe Johnston, owners of Hula café. Their poster advertising this evening said, “Celebrating four years of good times”. It was a wonderful, good times celebration, but the last two years have been hard for this family and for many similar café and hospitality owners. The drive and determination to succeed offering good food and great entertainment will surely make the next two years ‘good times’.


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