Ono Bar & Grill Happy Hour and Interview with Cidronio D Bumanglag Jr. (aka Junior)

Cidronio D Bumanglag Jr. (aka Junior)

Ono Bar & Grill, The Westin Maui Resort & Spa

How did you get a job there?

I started at the resort as a pool attendant and was later accepted into a management training program in the food and beverage department. One day when one of our bartenders called in sick, I was asked to set up Tropica Bar and found that I did a pretty good job. This encouraged me to learn more about the bar business and when a bartender position opened, I applied and here I am. It took a few tries but I did it…

What spirit do you like to work with the most? What is the last drink you made with it?

I like all spirits because each is different. As I enjoy creating new drinks every day, it is hard to pinpoint which spirit I had used to make the last drink.

Perhaps you are a wine and beer fan and distilled beverages don’t float your boat, what is the last incredible wine or beer you drank? What made it spectacular?

Not much of a wine drinker but don’t get me wrong. I like wines and I like to pair the right wine with the right moment. As for beers, I like different types but right now it’s Shock Top Wheat Beer with a shot of Stoli orange in it, orange slice and a splash of orange juice. My co-worker named it the Russian Beer which sounds right…it’s a flavorful drink.

If you could change one thing about the drinks business on Maui what would it be?

Customers should have an open mind and try different cocktails instead of the fruity tropical ones that Hawaii is known for. They are good but you can have that anywhere. At Ono Bar & Grill, we have different flavors to offer our guests innovative cocktails with a local flair.

What is your favorite happy hour on Maui? Why?

Honestly, all happy hour offerings are good. It is what you make of it that makes the difference.

What is your bar’s signature drink/wine/beer?

Our signature drink is the No Ka Oi Mai Tai. It’s made with Maui Pineapple Rum, Grand Marnier, Cruzan Coconut Maui Dark Rum, Fresh Lime Wedges, Pineapple Wedges, Orange Wedges and Infused Rose Lime Juice & Rock Candy Syrup. Muddle everything but the Dark Rum together. Strain & pour in a snifter over crushed ice. Top with a float of Maui Dark Rum and garnish with a Pineapple Crown.

What is YOUR signature drink? (Or go to wine or beer in your selection?)

My signature drink is the No Ka Oi Mai Tai but I still have more to bring to the table.

When you are making a cocktail what is the most important thing?

Having fun making it. The drink is only as good as the person creating the concoction.

Who or what influences you outside of the beverage business?

My ohana (family)

Let’s say you’re pitching an investor who wants you to open your ultimate bar. What is your concept? Where is it located?

My ideas are always evolving. Right now, I see my bar having multiple sections for everyone to enjoy. I envision a pool table, family dining, and a sport section. Also, it should have late night dancing, food and beverage service. As you are reading this, this idea may have already transformed into a new one.

Name one new liquor/beer/wine you tasted recently. What was your impression?

Maui Pineapple Rum! It’s awesome.

What are your regulars like?

The regulars are fun because they already know who you are and enjoy the personality traits you share with them. I enjoy the ones whom you can really talk to.

What is one interesting thing about being a bartender on Maui?

I like the challenge. There is always something new that can be created amidst the diversity found on the island.

What makes a good bartender? Why are you one?

There are different traits to becoming a good bartender but for me, it is having fun at what I am best at and the opportunity to share my creations with the customers.

What is the newest drink you have created? Describe what’s in it.

I have a few. Just find me at Ono Bar & Grill and try them….

ONO BAR & GRILL EARLY HAPPY HOUR – Daily. $4 drafts, $5.25 wells, $5.25 Mai Tais, Bay Breeze, Margs on the rocks, $6 house chardonnay and cabernet, $2-3 off select pupus. 5-6pm and 10-11pm Ono Bar & Grill, (2365 Kaanapali Pkwy.,  Lahaina); 808-667-2525; http://www.westinmaui.com/dining/ono/

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