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Wailana Coffee House Closing!

Discussion in 'US - Hawaii Timesharing' started by SmithOp, Aug 27, 2018.

  1. SmithOp

    SmithOp TUG Member

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    We have enjoyed many breakfast and lunches here, sad to see it is closing. It was featured in a Hawaii 5-0 episode, McGarrett eating pancakes with HHV visible across the street.

    HONOLULU (KHON2) - After 48 years, Wailana Coffee House will close its doors on Sunday, Sept. 30, 2018.

    Co-owner Kenton Tom tells KHON2 that the decision wasn't easy.

    "After 48 years, the family has decided to close the restaurant because it faces very extensive renovations to be made to be competitive," Tom said.

    He says the new renovations would cost about $1 million.

    He explains that the family still owns the land, and "has decided to look at other options for the property."

    The 24-hour Waikiki diner employs about 100 people.

    "It's a very sad, sad moment." Tom said. "We've had employees that have worked 30-plus years for us and they've helped make the restaurant so successful."

    As for their reaction?

    "Complete silence—that was their reaction. Very sad, we're sad for them too but they're working through it," Tom added.

    Addy Rechirei has been working at Wailana for 12 years.

    "(I was) shocked, sad—I'm still shocked," she said.

    "Twelve years, they're my family," she said as she began to tear up.

    A Wailana regular was sad to hear the news.

    "I saw it on Instagram that it was closing, I was really hoping it was fake news but it was real, and it's really sad. It's such a shame that it's closing," Tommy Garibaldi said.

    The popular restaurant has been a favorite for tourists too.

    "I had a phone call from California and a customer called and said he couldn't believe it and asked if we could stay open longer for him since he's coming back at end of the year," Tom said.

    The history of Wailana Coffee House dates back to the late 1940s.

    Kenton explains that his father first opened a concession stand at Honolulu Zoo in 1947.

    He then bought the land where Wailana Coffee House sits today.

    "He (my dad) bought this area about 1951, everyone thought he was crazy," Tom said laughing.

    "There was no Hilton Hawaiian Village, no Ala Moana Boulevard, just a coral road. But he bought the land and he built the drive-in, Kapiolani Drive-Inn, he had car hop service—it was very popular at that time. Then in the late 60s, he got together with Bruce Stark and they developed Wailana Condominium and this restaurant."

    Kenton Tom says when his father passed away 15 years ago, he and his siblings—Malcom and Joanna, became the owners.

    The diner also featured a bar and karaoke at night. Regulars say they loved coming in for all-you-can-eat pancakes at 2 a.m.

    Rechirei and Tom say they will miss all their regulars, "they're a part of our family, a part of us," they said.

    Once the news broke of the closure, Tom said he didn't know how much of an impact the diner had on people over the last five decades.

    "We've had lots of phone calls all day, I was very, very surprised. I didn't think people would notice that much."

    The co-owner says they will be offering a kamaaina discount during its last week.

    https://www.khon2.com/news/local-ne...ure-of-historic-waikiki-restaurant/1398402077


    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk Pro
     
    easyrider and alwysonvac like this.
  2. alwysonvac

    alwysonvac TUG Lifetime Member

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    Wow, thanks for the update.
     
  3. Blues

    Blues Tug Review Crew: Rookie TUG Member

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    So sad to hear. Our favorite place for breakfast or lunch when staying at HHV.
     
  4. Luanne

    Luanne TUG Review Crew: Veteran TUG Member

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    Years ago, like in 1970, I went to Honolulu with my best friend. We had bought the book "Hawaii on $10 a Day" (all the other travel books were XXX on $5 a Day). One of their recommendations for breakfast was the diner counter at a local drugstore. I can't remember the name, it might have even been a Walgreen's, but that was the BEST French toast I've ever had. First time I had coconut syrup. After we tried this place we'd go there every morning for breakfast.
     
  5. jehb2

    jehb2 TUG Member

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    This is sad. I really liked their pancake breakfast special.
     
  6. jestme

    jestme Guest

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    We have eaten breakfast there many, many times. The other major benefit is they are open 24 hours a day. For those of us from the east coast who wake up at 2:00-3:00AM when we first get there, the Wailana is the only place open for coffee or something to eat near the HHV.
     
  7. jestme

    jestme Guest

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    Luanne, I believe it was the diner in the Woolworths on the corner across Kalakawa from the Royal Hawaiian/Sheraton. We had the same book. We went there in 1978 many times on our honeymoon after we discovered the breakfast buffet cost where we were staying at the Sheraton Waikiki. (which at US$35 today each + tip is still a ridiculous amount for breakfast).
     
    Last edited: Aug 30, 2018
    Luanne likes this.
  8. ljmiii

    ljmiii TUG Member

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    NOOOOOOOOO....

    It's my fault. For the first time ever I didn't go this year because I couldn't get any of the rest of my family awake for a real breakfast (teenagers you know). I first ate at Wailana rather a long time ago but for the past decade I always took my family for at least our first breakfast there. The last time it was just my son...and this year nothing. Serves me right...and very sad to see them close.
     
  9. b2bailey

    b2bailey TUG Member

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    Somehow I never found this place, but reading the article brought tears for the long-time employees.
     

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