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kaukaulesa

Opened and Closed

55 posts in this topic

Hey,

If you spot a new place in your neighborhood or areas you frequent, tell us about it here. And if you notice a favorite spot of yours has closed, report it.

I was really bummed when I went to Kekaulike Coffee Shop yesterday and found out it had new owners, switching from healthy-oriented cheapo plates, specializing in Puerto Rican pasteles, to a run-of-the-mill plate lunch place. Wah! So in case you liked it as a funky, budget spot for good food, it is no longer.

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Some places that closed in 2003:

Shishido Manju in Wailuku

Shishido Manju (another story)

Washington Saimin in Makiki

Beau Soleil in Manoa

Mongolian Bar-B-Q in Kaimuki

Jaja in Palama

Both Shishido Manju and Washington Saimin had been at their respective locations for over a generation. Shishido Manju was one of the most popular omiyage that people brought home from Maui. As Irwin noted in another thread, Washington Saimin was the prototype that McDonald's tried to imitate when it first introduced Saimin to their own menu.

Beau Soleil, Mongolian Bar-B-Q, amd Jaja were not quite as prominent or established, but all had their loyal customers and filled niches in the eating environment that really aren't served very well by other restaurants, so they will be missed.

RIP.


Sun-Ki Chai
http://www2.hawaii.edu/~sunki/

Former Hawaii Forum Host

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Thanks for that update Sun-Ki.

Here's a brand new place: Japan's oldest bakery has its newest location in Kahala Mall. I haven't checked it out yet, but apparently Japanese expats are crowding it to get their signature item, the name of which escapes me.

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That would be Ginza Kimuraya. Their founder, Yasubei Kimura, and his son, Eizaburo, are generally credited with inventing the most common Western-Japanese pastry, the "anpan" (baked wheat bun stuffed with sweetened azuki beans). As you mentioned, they are oldest Western bakery in Japan that is still in business.


Sun-Ki Chai
http://www2.hawaii.edu/~sunki/

Former Hawaii Forum Host

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chunky's drive inn was a great place to buy a big bag of fries for a cheap price ahh the hana bada days.

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Chunky's - yeah - I think that closed about 15 years ago! It was across from old Honolulu Stadium on Isenberg - where First Hawaiian Bank is now (?)


Sun-Ki Chai
http://www2.hawaii.edu/~sunki/

Former Hawaii Forum Host

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Chunky's - yeah - I think that closed about 15 years ago! It was across from old Honolulu Stadium on Isenberg - where First Hawaiian Bank is now (?)

yup thats right skchai.

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Ting Yin Chop Suey on King St. I think it was the oldest Chinese restaurant in Hawaii. Closed last year, I think. Did it Move? They had the greatest, cheapest, small combo lunch in town. $3.75.

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Ah Chunky's. Why did you have to bring them up? I miss it every time I drive by that big ugly bank. When I used to come home to visit, sometimes I'd make my Mom stop their on the way home, for one of their cheeseburgers and an orange freeze. The burgers were disgusting...premade paper-thin patties, but it was that puke-green special sauce that did it for me. It was junk-food perfection.

Thanks for the info on the Chinese restaurant...another late-great landmark gone by the wayside.

New spot opened in Hawaii Kai (at the shopping center with Safeway): BluWater Grill. Owned and run by some Ryan's veterans. It opens today. Yes, there are kalua pig tostadas on the menu. You get the HRC drift. heh.

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Aloha and welcome, stinkinbadges.

Tried to look up info on the whereabouts of Ting Yin, but they still seem to be listed on all the restaurant websites as being located at 125 N. King. So presumably it all happened fairly recently - do you know about when they chosed down last year? Also, it seems that the owners were involved in a fairly complicated legal battle over leases and such, though it's hard to figure out exactly what was going down from the documents on the web.

Lesa, that puke-green sauce from Chunky's intrigues me. Presumably it was not made from real hanabatas (sorry)! What approximately was in the sauce?

BTW, checked out the new Panya at Ala Moana Center. Seems to have a pretty similar selection of baked items to the old one in the McCully Shopping Center, with their "Hokkaido Bread" being the feature item. Haven't tried their sit-down dining service, though. One "innovation" that might alienate some people is that you have to pay a surcharge if you take your baked goods into the indoor dining area, though you can take them to their four outside tables without paying extra.

Some newly-opened places that I've started separate threads on:

California Wok (in Ala Moana Center)

Choi's Garden Restaurant


Sun-Ki Chai
http://www2.hawaii.edu/~sunki/

Former Hawaii Forum Host

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Another sighting: Noticed a "coming soon" sign on Ke`eaumoku Street announcing the opening of the "Taishoken Ramen". Or, as former Japan forum host BON would call it, "Taishoken@Ke`eaumoku". Taishoken is the name of two of Tokyo's most famous ramen houses. But it remains to be seen if the one here is actually affiliated with either of the Tokyo ones, which curiously enough are not affiliated with one another. Or at least a faithful copy of one of them . . .


Sun-Ki Chai
http://www2.hawaii.edu/~sunki/

Former Hawaii Forum Host

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It was only last summer that my coworkers introduced me to Pasta Italia, an Italian restaurant run by a friend of theirs in Waikele. They made the absolute best calimari I have ever had, anywhere. I also learned that they served breakfast, something unusual for an Italian joint and therefore making it quite a Sunday morning gem.

Sadly, the owner shut its doors in January, to make way for a larger dining chain that shall not be named. I hope he gets the restauranteur bug again soon!

Old eateries that are now only fond memories are a very popular talkstory topic. This thread over at HawaiiStories from August 2002 names quite a few.


user posted image HawaiiThreads.com - Let's talk story!

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Thanks for the HawaiiStories link, Ryan. Great discussion!

One thing I noticed was that several of the participants mentioned Chicken Alice, which has also been mentioned by a number of people on this forum (though not on this thread) as a someplace they really miss. Also noticed that a lot of people mentioned Farrell's which kind of surprised me - I was one of the few people who could ever finish a Farrell's Pig Trough but otherwise I don't really remember the ice cream being all that different. . .

Jolly Roger . . . I could go for a Porky Boy right now. . .


Sun-Ki Chai
http://www2.hawaii.edu/~sunki/

Former Hawaii Forum Host

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Somehow the places that I personally miss the most are:

Flamingo Restaurant on Ala Moana as that was where my family went to eat most often for the friendly fast service and the consistent quality with reasonable prices, especially with the set dinner menus.

Pearl City Tavern. There wasn't anyplace even close for that special occasion meal. With the Monkey Bar and upstairs Garden it was always very special. The fact that it was a substantial sized independent Restaurant located in Pearl City that served Live Maine Lobsters [i generally ordered 3 or 4 pounders] comparable to the best Lobster places on the mainland at reasonable prices was really awesome. The decoration and amenities always felt right.

Mahi-Mahi Sandwiches and good breakfasts were always available at the various "Stewart's Pharmacy Restaurants" for locals and tourists.

Too many places have closed that seemed to be just there that were special that I'm not sure of their names and maybe never even knew what they were called. It seems like there were many open window or storefronts that every one sort of took for granted especially in the Kaimuki and Kilihi areas or Bretania and King Streets that only prepared a few special items that were really good.

Irwin :unsure:


I don't say that I do. But don't let it get around that I don't.

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Thanks wesza. . . . the Ala Moana Flamingo Chuckwagon and the Pearl City Tavern were both landmark places whose niche hasn't been filled (at least not by any locally-owned restaurants).

BTW, we were finally able to check out Mary Jane's Kitchen (aka Gohyangjip), based on kaukaulesa's fine review in last week's Honolulu Weekly. It was just as good as you mentioned - really unique among Korean restaurants here in its honest appreciation of regional specialties. Unlike other places, that generally focus on standardized Seoul-centered menu, Mary Jane's carries a lot of dishes from the Southwestern (Jeolla-do) region of Korea, that you can't get elsewhere.

i4018.jpg

Here's a sample of what we ate. Thanks, again kaukaulesa, for the great tip.


Sun-Ki Chai
http://www2.hawaii.edu/~sunki/

Former Hawaii Forum Host

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Sun-Ki:

The Flamingo Chuckwagon was located on Kapolani Boulevard across from the Blaisdall Center. Served "Prime Rib" Buffet at reasonable price.

The original "Flamingo Restaurant" was located on Ala Moana Blvd at the location where a Restaurant Center was built after they lost their lease. There was also a Waikiki Location for Years where the Waikiki Center[?] was built. They also built a place in Pearl City as did the Columbia Inn. Don't know if any still operating.

Irwin :unsure:


I don't say that I do. But don't let it get around that I don't.

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Thanks, Irwin, for clearing up my confusion. As far as I know, the Kapiolani and Ward Flamingo Chuckwagon is still there - at least the sign is there when I pass them on the street. Columbia Inn still has its Kaimuki location operating, though under new ownership (not the Kaneshiro family).


Sun-Ki Chai
http://www2.hawaii.edu/~sunki/

Former Hawaii Forum Host

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Columbia Inn still has its Kaimuki location operating, though under new ownership (not the Kaneshiro family).

My ears are burning. If any readers have stories about the old Columbia Inn (Kapiolani), I'd love to hear them. I'm Tosh Kaneshiro's granddaughter, but a katonk who was still pretty young when the place turned over to Kyotaru.

Of course my family tells me some stories, but I am always on the lookout for more!

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Welcome to the Hawai`i forum, Tani! It's nice to have a member of the Kaneshiro `ohana taking part here.

Here's a canned history of the Columbia Inn - correct me if I get any facts wrong!

The original Columbia Inn was opened on Beretania St. in Chinatown by Gentaro Kaneshiro soon after the attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941, and was passed onto Frank and Fred "Tosh" Kaneshiro. After they were forced to give up their lease, they moved to the historic 645 Kapiolani Blvd. location in 1964. This was originally the location "Times Grill", owned by Albert and Wallace Teruya of Times Supermarket fame. Both the Kaneshiros and the Terukyas were descendents of immigrants from Oroku Aza in Okinawa! The Kaimuki branch was opened a several years later. . .

Here's some more stuff I wrote on another thread:

We all have great memories of the Columbia Inns. They were sold in the 1980s by the Kaneshiro family to Kyotaru Corp. of Japan, a restaurant chain, which turned the Waimalu branch into a Kyotaru restaurant. Frank and Tosh Kaneshiro have long since gone on to the great Dodger Stadium in the sky. Though ironically the Inns were doing great business-wise, Kyotaru itself was teetering near bankruptcy by the late 1990s and they were sold off again. A bunch of people tried to have the Kapiolani branch turned into a State landmark, but they failed in the end and it became a Servo Pacific auto showroom. Fortunately, the Kaimuki location was bought up the brothers Tri and Thanh Nguyen who have kept it alive - as far as I know it is still open and doing well.

When the Kapiolani location closed in 2001, they held a great farewell party in which Tosh's widow Bea and her children Eugene, Norman, and Dennis were there. They showed off the famous photo for one last time. The most precious ones centered around the "Round Table" where the regulars hung out. A lot of the photos featured the Los Angeles Dodgers, of which Tosh was perhaps Hawai`i's greatest fan. Wonder what ever happend to those photos?

If you're interested in researching more about the family history, you might try contacting the Hawai`i United Okinawan Associations, which has been instrumental in developing an "Okinawan Restaurant Project" and has featured information about Oroku Aza families many times in their newsletter.


Sun-Ki Chai
http://www2.hawaii.edu/~sunki/

Former Hawaii Forum Host

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Wonder what ever happend to those photos?

Thanks for the welcome, skchai.

It is rumored that my Uncle Gene has many of the photos in boxes on his lanai, lest you think that isn't very secure, I tried to find them last time I was there, and failed completely as his lanai is jam packed full of stuff. The (in)famous Round Table itself is there, too. Also protected by fortresses of other stuff (others might say "junk" or worse). :biggrin:

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I hope Uncle Gene knows that he's dealing with important historical artifacts!

Seriously, I'm sure a lot of people have great memories of a lot of those things. . .


Sun-Ki Chai
http://www2.hawaii.edu/~sunki/

Former Hawaii Forum Host

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Another golden oldie closing: House of Hong. The Lewers Street restaurant closes its doors at the end of this month, although the bar is staying open.

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