The brand new, big and beautiful Laulani Village Shopping Center opened fairly recently this past holiday season in Ewa Beach when Safeway held their grand opening on Thursday, November 16th, followed by fellow anchor tenants Petco and City Mill, who held their grand opening the next day on Friday, November 17, 2012.
Laulani Village Shopping Center in Ewa Beach master plan. Image courtesy of Property Development Centers (a Safeway company)
So far as of this writing, Safeway, Petco and City Mill are currently the only anchor tenants open there. However anchor tenant Ross Dress for Less will open soon, on March 8, 2013. While also slated to open later this year will be Walgreens, who will be located in a separate building next to the parking lot entrance (see Anchor ‘K’ in master plan above).
Also currently open within Safeway are Starbucks Coffee and Bank of Hawaii.
This is now Safeway’s 14th store on Oahu out of 20 total in Hawaii. This is also City Mill’s 8th store on Oahu, replacing their Waipahu location, which has since closed.
There are signs posted in smaller spaces of the main building for Central Pacific Bank, GNC and Teddy’s Bigger Burgers, however with no information about when their doors will open.
There’s also another large front corner wing along Fort Weaver Road and Keaunui Drive, where so far Panda Express and Tasty Korean BBQ are said to open in the future…
As indicated on the site master plan, this corner wing is also designated as office space, so anticipate financial, insurance and/or medical offices to open here in the future.
From what I understand, thanks to the “coconut wireless”, the monthly lease rent, based on a $2.50/square foot rate for the major anchor tenants large spaces, runs up in the $6-figures. Ouch. That’s some serious overhead, especially for “way out” in Ewa!
Good grief, Safeway better sell lots of bread ‘n butter, Ross better sell lots of shoes ‘n purses, Petco better sell lots of dog ‘n cat food, City Mill better sell lots of paint ‘n lumber, and Walgreens better sell lots of drugs. LOL!
Now let’s go on a pictorial walk around Laulani Village, starting with the front corner wing…
Now let’s make our way across the entire span of Laulani Village’s main building run, starting from the far left end (Fort Weaver Road side)…
Note, Starbucks is interconnected with Safeway’s Signature Cafe within the store, adjacent to the left entrance. In fact, looking around inside the new Ewa beach Safeway, it’s almost an exact duplicate of the Kapahulu store both in layout, look and feel, which they call their “lifestyle” format. I’d say more like the Whole Foods format.
Safeway’s left entrance and exit…
Safeway’s right entrance and exit…
Bank of Hawaii is open, located inside Safeway…
Future home of Central Pacific Bank…
Future home of GNC…
Please rent me!…
Between here and the next photo of Teddy’s, there’s a rear parking lot entrance & exit.
Future home of Teddy’s Bigger Burgers…
Future home of Ross Dress for Less (coming soon)…
Note, Ross’ lighbox sign was up, then taken down due to electrical problems the contractor had to make repairs on. As of this writing it’s back up.
Across the parking lot on this side of the center is a building still under construction that will be the future home of Walgreens.
If you look back at the master plan, you’ll see there’s additional smaller stand-alone buildings not built yet called ‘Pads’, that will line the opposite end of the parking lot along Keaunui Drive. Which is exactly how it is at the Kapahulu location, with both retailers and restaurants occupying them (AT&T and Ninja Sushi). One of the ‘Pads’ in Laulani Village is said to become a McDonald’s, which is no surprise, and certainly fitting for the center. Imagine if the first In-N-Out Burger in Hawaii opened here? Ooooooh!!!!! I’d move to Ewa Beach just for that! Nah, not quite.
So I was there the night of Ewa’s new Safeway “soft” opening (the day before the G.O.). Following are photos around the store that night, where as you’ll see, the house was jam PACKED…
The perfect symmetry of their stacked produce is seriously “OCD” crazy…
It’s like, when you pick through and grab some of these organic apples, you have to look over your shoulder at the produce clerk, whether he or she might be sneering at you all fuming in anger over messing up their beautiful display. “Hey, you, buddy! Na-ah-ah-ah! Don’t you dare even THINK about touching that.” LOL!
See. Look at the expression on that lady’s face pushing the cart to the left in the photo above. She’s thinking to herself “Oh my, those oranges are stacked so neatly, I’ll just admire them from a distance.” lol
OCD to the max’…
I have an idea for Bula’ia’s new OC-16 comedy show. Looking at this grid-like OCD arrangement of the fruits in the photo above, what he should do is act like he’s turning it into some board game, and mix the fruit around from each bin. I dunno, play Checkers, Chess, Tic-Tac-Toe, Connect 4, or Battleship. Something like that. Or perhaps simply spell something out, treating the different colored fruit as pixels. Then have the produce clerk and manager come in and act like they’re scolding him and kicking him out, to which he refuses, then gets arrested. All with management pre-approval of course, so he doesn’t really get arrested, as has happened in the original Bula’ia shows. lol
Or how’s about this one: have Bulai’a act like it was his first day on the job as a Safeway produce clerk, where they show him meticulously stacking the potatoes, onions and yams as shown below. Then a customer walks up and attempts to start sorting for “good” potatoes to choose, messing up the immaculately stacked potatoes in the process. To which Bulai’a gets into this whole “moke style” rant with the customer, starting a food fight, taking it out in the parking lot (so they can really make a mess), eventually ending up getting fired. lol
While you might think it’s only like this for the Ewa Beach grand opening, incredibly, Safeway actually maintains their immaculately stacked, perfectly culled produce every day. At least, it’s like that at the Kapahulu location I frequent.
Ever since Whole Foods came to town, it seems they raised the bar on grocery retail merchandising standards, and now you’re noticing our other major supermarkets are following suit, including Safeway, Foodland and Times. Don Quijote is starting to do this, but not nearly as immaculate as here. Then again, DQ’s prices on produce for the most part are much cheaper for essentially the same thing, just not as pretty (culled).
Chinatown Honolulu, forget it. Them Pake’s just throw ’em in the unfinished plywood bin. “You buy. Get plenty. You buy cheap. Won Bok 2 foh wun dollah’.” lol
Back in the meat and seafood department, they were handing out some onolicious samples on soft opening night, including grilled steak, salmon and other hors d’oeuvres and desserts, while there was also this fancy fresh ahi and marlin ice display…
What’s funny is, some people (mostly the keiki) were asking if the fish were real, poking at it, realizing they were in fact the real fresh-caught deal.
Speaking with folks from Ewa Beach I work with, they say this new Safeway is certainly a welcome option to what was formerly really the only game in town right up the street over at Foodland, where, until now with Safeway in town, had a grocery supermarket monopoly on the Ewa Beach community. The next closest place to go grocery shopping was either Don Quijote in Waipahu, or out in Kapolei, both of which are obviously the next town over.
Also getting ready to open the next day was City Mill over on the far right end of Laulani Village…
City Mill has since closed their Waipahu location and moved operations here in Ewa. Note, City Mill OWNS the Waipahu store property, which is HUGE, and from what I understand, there’s been plenty of interest for leasing, however nothing secured yet.
Also note, Property Development Centers — the developer of Laulani Village Shopping Center, the location on Beretania, as well as Kapahulu — is part of the Safeway company. So really Safeway is paying mortgage, not rent.
With my “VIP” status (he he), I was able to get a few shots around the store the evening before their grand opening…
As it is a tradition in Hawaii for a person to get “lei’d” upon arrival to the islands or in celebration of a birthday or other special occasion, it’s also tradition for a new business to receive tropical arrangements from business clients and vendors as a token of good luck and prosperity…
One person I work with has lived in Ewa Beach his entire life, where he said, aside of the older homes that were built a long time ago — before all this new Gentrified developments — almost the entire Ewa plain was nothing but sugarcane fields, along with a large water reservoir nearby where Laulani Village Shopping Center now stands. Here in this new development map, you can see Ewa Beach, along with nearby Kapolei is quickly becoming Oahu’s “second city”…
Image courtesy of Property Development Centers
Image courtesy of Property Development Centers
From what I understand, with just Safeway, Petco and City Mill currently open, the Laulani Village parking lot already fills up to capacity on weekends. Imagine when Ross, Walgreens, and then all the other smaller tenants open? They’re gonna’ NEED to add another tier or two to the parking lot to accommodate everyone, as there’s no where around the adjoining suburban area for overflow customers to legally park on the street.
While always controversial for a family oriented community, I really think a bar would BANK here, especially with so much military in the area.
EWA BREWING COMPANY
Just throwin’ the idea out in case anyone’s interested in investing, I’d open the Ewa Brewing Company, a new and innovative Hawaii micro brewery sports bar, occupying either an entire ‘Pad’, or perhaps one whole side of the Laulani Village front wing. Which I think would ROCK $$$.
Ewa Brewing Company’s decor would be super retro in the Irish Pub sensibility, complete with an elegant carved Irish pub look, along with low-lit mood lighting, while also having a little tropical tiki bar theme going on as well. Totally kitsch pacific rim.
There would be a full bar of course (good luck on getting the permit!), along with dining areas to make way for the ever-expanding menu. While for fun, 2 competition billiards tables, dart boards and a small dance floor with DJ’s spinning every night after 10pm. Yeah, I know, totally creative and unique, right? OK then, we’ll throw Twister in there for the late night party crowd. That’d be entertaining! lol
The Ewa Brewing Company’s bar menu would look like this…
Ewa Brewing Company pupu menu
• For Ewa Fish ‘n Chips
4 fillets of the fish of the day (typically Mahimahi or Monchong), dipped in our house beer-based Tempura batter seasoned with our secret blend, deep-fried to “GBD” perfection. Served over a bed of Moloka’i Sweet Potato “Chips” (or you can opt for Idaho Potatoes), along with our house-made Cocktail Sauce, Wasabi Sauce and Tartar Sauce trio, plus lemon and lime wedges. Aloha Apple Cider Vinegar also available upon request.
$14.99 party size (serves 2-4), 11.99 regular (serves 1-2)
• Keaunui Bacon-wrapped Pepper Poppers
House-smoked teriyaki bacon, wrapped around Jalapenos that are stuffed with a 4-cheese blend of American, Cheddar, Mozzarella and Phili’, baked to sizzlin’ hot ‘n goey perfection!
• Mozza’ West-side Mussels
8 Mussles on the half shell that are topped with our house-made marinara, then smothered (and we mean SMOTHERED!) with lotza’ ooey-gooey Mozzarella Cheese and baked to perfection. Pop one, and you’ll soon pop the rest!
• Renton Rolls
4 generously portioned temaki sushi hand rolls, that are filled with premium-grade Tamaki Gold sushi rice, furikake, cucumber, avocado, topped with a baked Crab & Shiitake Mushroom aioli infusion. Trust us, you’ll order this again and again!
• For Ewa Plantation Platter
A supah’ generous helping of all of the above! No scade! Go for ’em all!
Ewa Brewing Company Beer menu
• Geiger IPA
• Laulani Lager
• Papipi Porter
• Kolowaka Stout
Speaking of alcohol, being a class act and leader in the industry, Ewa Brewing Company would offer a shuttle van service (2 vans), servicing the Ewa Beach, Kapolei and Waipahu area, so patrons who’ve had too much to drink can get home safely. It won’t be cheap, but way WAY cheaper than a DUI or worse.
I’m tellin’ ya’, Ewa Brewing Company? Cha-ching!
Ewa Beach, you are growing!
P.S. I’m growing in reverse, pretty much maintaining my upper 160’s weight, not going back over 170, where here I am about 3 weeks ago weighing in at 167 lbs….
Not so much in person, however in some photos (like this one), my face still looks a little bloated. More so when I smile than straight-faced, but still. I guess I’m gonna’ have to get down to 160 for my face to look slimmer, which I’m already overdue. I should try doing them weird jaw exercises, or maybe chew on a whole pack of bubble gum all day to workout my (above the shoulder) cheek muscles. lol!
Seriously though, I’m thinking of trying out that Shaun T “Insanity” fitness program they keep showing on late night infomercials. Man, the before and after results are impressive! I especially like its high intensity approach for maximum results in a short period of time. We’ll see.