The Contemporary Café at the Contemporary Museum of Honolulu

Like many museums, the Contemporary Museum of Honolulu featured a museum café, called the Contemporary Café, at its main location at the Spalding House. The café featured two seating options – indoors in a gallery-like atmosphere with rotating exhibitions or outdoors in the garden of the Spalding House. The Contemporary Café primarily served lunch, coffee, and dessert, and accordingly, it was only open during the early afternoon from Tuesday until Sunday. It also offered members of the Contemporary Museum a discount for themselves and a guest, and it also had a Lauhala and Lunch picnic service for visitors who wanted to enjoy lunch on the great lawn or in the Spalding House’s Nu’umealani Gardens. Overall, with its interesting menu, gallery, and atmosphere, the Contemporary Café was a unique addition to the Contemporary Museum of Honolulu’s main location.

The Contemporary Café’s Menu
The menu at the Contemporary Café featured a number of lunch, dessert, and coffee items as well as daily specials. For lunch, it offered appetizers such as deviled eggs and garlic shrimp; a soup of the day and featured salads; and sandwiches like a falafel burger and a mozzarella and prosciutto sandwich. Dessert featured everything from a cookie plate to gelato, the drink menu featured a standard array of basic fare and coffee shop favorites. Though the restaurant did not serve alcohol, it permitted guests to bring their own bottles of wine if they paid a corkage fee. The Contemporary Café served up a litany of delicious eats for guests to enjoy after wandering through the museum.

Gallery and Rotating Exhibitions
In addition to its relaxed atmosphere and delicious menu, the Contemporary Café also offered visitors the opportunity to view various exhibitions in the indoor portion of the restaurant. These exhibitions rotated more frequently than those featured in the regular galleries, and they often featured work from local artists and students as well as lesser-known contemporary artists from around the world. Additionally, the work had to be well-suited to a relaxed and casual café environment, and the museum even directly coordinated certain exhibits to be specific to the café. The Contemporary Café’s gallery thus featured interesting exhibits such as Common Sense, a portfolio exchange between printmakers in Kona and Honolulu; the Metaphoric Menagerie annual series, which featured masks made by University of Hawaii students; and Food for Thought, an invitational exhibition that featured fourteen local artists’ work specifically created about food.