Gorilla in the Cafe in Waikiki: Not as grand as it could be

When the news hit the Hawaii press that Bae Yong Joon‘s Gorilla in the Cafe was opening in Waikiki, it had K-drama fans excited.

What would the cafe look like, what would happen at the opening and most of all, would the Hallyu star make an appearance?

According to my mother, whom I dropped off at the cafe so she could take some photos for me, the opening wasn’t all that impressive. No Korean congratulatory wreaths,  balloons or free samples, no crowds spilling out of the cafe, no menu written up on the chalkboard, not even an outdoor sign (at the time) to let you know its name.

And definitely … no Bae Yong Joon.


It was all very anticlimatic.  In fact, it was so non-event, you could easily walk past it without noticing it at all.

I had to go back to take photos because initially, my mom ‘s photos turned out blurry. So these photos are all post-opening

The space is minimal and small. Small, meaning, just a little over the size of a Macy’s store window!

Seating?  Barely.

It’s not one of those kinds of socializing cafes, which welcomes a “sit-down and open your laptop” kind of crowd. The interior is snug, fitting two small tables at most.

The cafe sells coffee and your standard Starbucks-like assortment of baked goods and sandwiches. (What… no Korean waffle desserts?!) They also sold packages of coffee beans  and Gorilla in the Cafe paraphernalia to buy such as shirts and mugs. Unfortunately, they were priced for tourists… high.

Cost of coffee: $19.95  Yow! Must be damned good coffee!

Would you pay roughly $20 for this mug?

Frankly, I’m not a coffee connoisseur, so I didn’t take an interest to find out what was so special in their coffee and their Pour Overs— I was just there to see a Hallyu star’s cafe.  But there was nothing entertaining about it. Not like the Hello Kitty Cafe or Coffee Prince Cafe you’d find in Seoul. You’d have to be coffee lover to love this cafe.

Otherwise, I’d head over to a Starbucks, get a fru-fru Frappacino and kick back in some AC with your laptop and enjoy the free wifi.

gorilla in the cafe pour overs menu