Before Mike Lopez was DJ Mike Lopez, he spent all his hard-earned cash on music. The California native with long-time roots on Kaua‘i was born with a burning passion for music.
“I just love music,” he said. “I always wanted to be involved with music.”
More than a decade ago, he befriended DJ Sean “Seannie Boy” Tayco, who used to be one of the island’s most popular DJs. Mike has never looked back.
He spun music for eight years in the now-defunct and sorely missed Tradewinds in Coconut Marketplace, always attracting a crowd willing to let it all hang out.
With Tradewinds gone, Mike started spinning at Trees on Wednesday nights, again attracting a large crowd.
Meanwhile, Norberto’s El Café in Old Kapa‘a Town had just switched identities and became an all-American restaurant as a facade for Kauai’s newest nightclub, rechristened Big Wave Dave’s by Norberto’s son, David Moranz.
David’s next step was to find a DJ capable of mixing different genres to attract a wide range of people, so he approached Mike.
The place has been open for only a month and is already attracting a legion of loyals, thanks in large part to Mike’s charisma and talent.
Mike spins at least five nights a week at Big Wave Dave’s, and each night is different, with everything from country to Top-40 to Latin, and, of course, reggae.
Hardly a party animal, Mike is actually a family man. He has a 15-year-old boy and a 9-year-old girl, and says a large family network helps him watch the kids so he can bring home the bacon by working at night.
He swears he would not have been so successful if it wasn’t for his wife, Carol, who is present all the time supporting him and running the business.
“My wife has been with me from the get-go,” he said. “She’s my biggest supporter. She’s the one who knows what’s going on.”
Big Wave Dave’s is in the heart of Old Kapa‘a Town, next to other local businesses such as the Eastside restaurant, Sushi Bushido, Olympic Café, Mermaids and Java Kai.