Cronies: A Family-Friendly Sports Bar in Hilo
There are several things that I love about sports bars: They are unpretentious, you don’t have to dress up and the food is dependable, as is the case with Cronies on Kamehameha Avenue in Hilo.
There is entertainment, usually via several different televisions, music, and plenty of people-watching.
Lastly: Ladies, if you are dragging your husband out shopping, he’ll be happier if he can fuel up with some good food and a beer.
There is plenty of seating at Cronies, including a bar area and a large upper area, but I like the tables near the big windows on the corner of Waianuenue and Kamehameha with a nice view of the bay and the bustle of Kamehameha Avenue.
Like most sports bars, you’ll find a good hamburger and fries, some big steaks and salads. However, they also have some standout items, so let’s talk about those.
For starters, I love their Crab Cakes ($11.25), served with sweet chili and green wasabi chili oil. They are rich, so on more than one occasion, I just have had those for lunch. Fun to share are the bucket of Onion Rings ($9.75) and the Bucket of Popcorn Shrimp ($7.75).
Many sports bars offer fish and chips, but Hawai‘i life has us spoiled, and Cronie’s often offers two selections—mahi-mahi or ahi fish and chips (market price). Fish is also available as a sandwich ($11.95).
Also Hawai‘i-centric are Cronies’ pizzas. I really love the Kalua Pork and Pineapple ($11.95), which is baked on crispy flatbread. It has a smoky-sweet barbecue sauce, kalua pork, pineapple slices and cheese. I brought part of one home, unable to finish it. If you like unusual pizzas, you might also enjoy the Sweet Thai Chili Chicken ($10.75).
I also really like their Caesar Salad ($10.25), which is very good on its own but extra-great with the addition of sashimi, chicken or kalua pig ($4 additional).
You might not think of a sports bar as being a family-friendly place, but Cronies is. In fact, while we were eating recently, there was a keiki birthday happening and the kids were having a ball. They serve kid-friendly PB&Js ($6.50), Mini Burgers ($7), Grilled Cheese ($6.50) and Hot Dogs ($6.50).
I have never had room for dessert, but cheesecake, ice-cream pie and chocolate cake are all on the menu for around $6.
Cronies is located at 11 Waianuenue Ave. in Hilo. Parking: Street. Friendly, very casual. Open Monday–Thursday, 11 a.m.–10 p.m.; Friday, 11 a.m.–11 p.m.; Saturday, 11 a.m.–10 p.m.; and Sunday, 8 a.m.–9 p.m. Breakfast on Sundays. Full bar. Phone: 935-5158.