In the 1930’s, Waikiki and Honolulu were just gaining a reputation as a destination. Few flights or cruises found their way to Hawaii back then and those that did hauled tourists who were on the leading edge of the future.
These lucky men drank at the Royal Hawaiian and at the Moana Surfrider - from the photo, it seems like those were the only two establishments in this part of town.
In 1934 Harry Owens, a young Nebraskan, became the resident bandleader at the Royal Hawaiian. During his tenure there he achieved great fame for his polished arrangements as well as a composer of many hits, including Sweet Leilani which earned him an Oscar in 1938.