If you were a Generation X’er raised in Hawaii and were present during the heyday of Honolulu’s independent rock scene of the 1990s then you knew of Otto. Just plain old Otto, kind of like Seal or Madonna. Otto was ubiquitous in the local punk rock scene, perhaps most famous as the bass player for 86 List. Definitely following the beat of his own drum, Otto was an anomaly who was difficult to pigeonhole — He was not only a punk rocker, but he also loved to roller-skate, sometimes cross-dress in a live-stage rendition of HEDWIG AND THE ANGRY INCH, and perhaps the most perplexing of all, he is a master cheesecake maker.
From selling cheesecakes after punk rock shows, to pop-ups, and an eventual brick-and-mortar in the heart of Chinatown, his sweet confections soon took off and became a fixture in Honolulu’s culinary scene. The story of Otto and his cheesecakes is definitely a unique one, but it has also been raft with great challenges. When drug-related crimes were happening on a daily basis right in front of his shop, risking the safety of his customers, employees and himself, he took to community board meetings to air the dirty laundry of police and city ineffectiveness.
But, through strife, division and political uncertainty, especially in this day and age, Otto’s spirit brightens our world and shows through his cheesecake how one can carve their own place in the world. This is a true story of a punk rock entrepreneur who just wants to spread aloha one sweet bite at a time.
Synopsis written by: Anderson Le