Varsity Grill & Bar

Bar, Eatery

1015 University Ave
Honolulu, Hawaii, 96826-1531
United States

// CLOSED //
View: Place Reviews
Recent ratings and reviews.
Ratings by woodychandler:
Photo of woodychandler
Reviewed by woodychandler from Pennsylvania

4.18/5  rDev +8.3%
vibe: 2 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5 | food: 4
Located at the site of the now-defunct Magoo's Pizza, the place is reportedly now owned by the former Magoo's management. Ha!

The wide front had a roped-off area that permitted them to offer outdoor/patio seating. This was the first place to which my CS hosts brought me, and with good reason - its tap selection was one of the best and most extensive on the island, rivaled only by The Yard House. The difference was that here I would get a seat right away and the tourist factor was low to nil. The laminated, blonde-wood, rectangular bar sat in the middle of the minimalist space. Interior was a sickly lime green, what we used to call "baby shit" and black. Ugh. Go at night. This was not a hangout for aesthetes! The bar was a complete rectangle with seating and taps on both sides. Back bar was an oval of taps with liquor above on a wooden shelf. Lavs to right of bar; electronic darts to left of bar with some auxiliary seating along far wall. If you needed more proof that this is a worthy place to visit, I ran into one of island's brewers and his girlfriend there. How cool is that?

120 taps/108 different beers.

Food could be purchased to the far left and then delivered to your table. ATacoLypse (a special on AYCE tacos) on Fridays from 1700 to 2200.
Dec 24, 2009
More User Ratings:
Photo of mariner22
Reviewed by mariner22 from Hawaii

3.78/5  rDev -2.1%
vibe: 2.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 2
This is a place you go for the beer. Not the atmosphere or the food. So I'd actually rate The Varsity a solid A for beer. The place has no exterior wall on the store front, concrete floors, sticky, wobbly tables and a hideous lime green paint job. But the beer is good and cheap. They used to have 12oz mugs ~$3-4 but I went last weekend and they now have 16oz pints ~$4-6 and some beers are only served in 20oz servings. Sometimes the pitchers are a really good deal too. They are frequently out of many of their beers but they still have a stellar selection. They are the only bar in Hawaii that I found that served Deschuttes Hop in the Dark and Hop Henge on tap. The bartenders aren't beer experts but they freely give out samples so you can figure it out on your own. (And I've seen these bar tenders handle more stumbling drunks than I have anywhere else.) They have several large televisions and are really good about turning one of them to whatever sporting event you like except on big days like the Superbowl. The Varsity is walking distance from the University of Hawaii and so it gets a college crowd that can be pretty loud and drunk late at night. Earlier in the day it's an older crowd. Looking around this place, I'm not really confident in the food. I've seen orders and it's typical greasy bar food - fries, hot dogs, nachos, etc. Parking on the street is sometimes possible and they validate for the lot behind the bar.
Jan 25, 2011
Photo of tonloco
Reviewed by tonloco from Hawaii

4.25/5  rDev +10.1%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 5 | food: 4
This place is great, by Oahu standards. The draft selection was enormous, only trumped by Yard House on the island. But the prices were out of this world. I was drinking Widmer Drifter Pale Ale and mugs were only $3, which is half the price of a pint at Yard House (although I think they are 12oz here, and not 16oz like the Yard House). They even serve the BMC crap for $2, which is great if you have friends that don't appreciate the real stuff. Large selection, cheap prices, great customers, and friendly bartenders makes for a great place. It is dingy and run down, but what in Hawaii isn't? I love this place, and frequent it quite often. I am just hoping that they pick up Ballast Point, since as of last week, they are available on island.
Apr 23, 2009
Photo of BretP
Reviewed by BretP from California

3.23/5  rDev -16.3%
vibe: 2.5 | quality: 3.5 | service: 4 | selection: 2.5 | food: 3
Pretty lame. Last time I was there (Dec 08) they seemed to be out of every beer. The bartender said they were going down to about 50 beers. They might have Sierra Nevada Pale Ale and Anchor Steam, but so does the Star Market down the street. I bet they won't get rid of the locals: Big Aloha, Kona, Maui Brewing, etc.

The food is a bit too pricey for what it is. There's definitely nothing on the menu to brag about.

It's kind of nice to sit in the outside area, but not worth going to. I only really go here when I take my car to Jiffy Lube.

It's just like every other generic bar in Honolulu with a few extra beers. When it opened I stole an Anchor pint glass from them. Boo-ya!
Jan 17, 2009
Varsity Grill & Bar in Honolulu, HI
Place rating: 3.86 out of 5 with 4 ratings