Restaurant Insider with Anne Lee: Ferguson’s PubRestaurant Insider
October 27, 2019
Story By: Anne Lee | Photos by: ANTHONY CONSILLIO
Ferguson’s Pub inside the Dillingham Transportation Building on Bishop Street in Honolulu serves its satisfied customers hearty bar food with some elegant offerings.
For example, the eatery features Charcuterie & Cheese plates and baked brie, as well as classic sandwiches and salad options.
Ferguson’s Pub partners Don Murphy and Danny Dolan officially reopened the establishment in 2012.
Ferguson’s existed before they took over ownership and they acquired it after their friend and the former owner John Ferguson passed away.
“We were all very close. John passed away about nine years ago, and his wife had reached out to us and asked if we would be interested in buying Ferguson’s. What’s interesting is that I purchased Murphy’s from John Ferguson, so we go way, way back,” shares Murphy, who also owns Murphy’s Bar & Grill.
Dolan explains that he has 33 years of experience in the restaurant industry and has known Murphy as a friend and mentor for the past 20 years.
Murphy and Dolan discuss more about what makes Ferguson’s Pub such a special gathering place here.
AL: What makes the restaurant stand out from others on the island?
DM AND DD: The aloha shirt crowd is our core customer. We have a lot of attorneys, heavy hitters, the downtown business client. Our kitchen is limited. We do have a lunch crowd and we have access to the atrium area, where we can accommodate large parties up to 200 guests. And we have had a few — we have access to our other restaurant kitchens to make this happen. It’s really nice to have the parties out here as you have a few choices of establishments to order food from, Ferguson’s, Dolan’s, Bethel Union and Murphy’s.
AL: Does the restaurant have a specific motto or mission it runs by?
DM AND DD: Ferguson’s brings a really nice East Coast establishment. We invested a lot of money into the interior to bring an East Coast vibe and feel to the place. We gutted it and made it a very pretty bar. We have a really good wine list.
I think it’s the prettiest bar in the whole state.
AL: What is the restaurant’s most popular dish? DM AND DD: The hot pastrami sandwich — hot pastrami on toasted rye bread with melted Swiss cheese, for $11. This is the most popular as it goes well with an ice-cold beer.
AL: What are some of the restaurant’s other customer favorites?
DM AND DD: The most requested beer is Guinness and the most requested spirit is Jameson.
AL: Any fun facts most people wouldn’t know about the restaurant?
DM AND DD: We are a hidden jewel. When guests first walk into our bar, they are in awe of the décor and attention we put into it. This actual bar before it was named Ferguson’s and has been here since the ‘30s, for 90 plus years. During the summer we do barbecues on Fridays, once or twice a month. Fridays are the busiest days.
Hot Pastrami Classic
• 4 to 5 ounces fresh pastrami
• 2 slices rye bread
• 2 slices Swiss cheese
• 1 tablespoon of spicy brown mustard (or more if you prefer)
Butter the bread, place cheese and pastrami on the bread, place in a panini grill. Heat until golden brown, about a minute or two. Slice and serve with chips and dill pickle