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Oahu Eateries 50+ Club

Hot on the heels of our list of Oahu Eateries Memorialized, while it’s nice to fondly reminisce those who have come and gone, we should also celebrate and appreciate those eateries that are still around today after all these not just years, but DECADES.

Originally this list was going to include those that have achieved over 25 years in business. However, there are now just way too many that have already done that!

Reaching the milestone 25 year silver anniversary is already an incredible feat, especially considering how demanding and competitive the food and beverage industry is here on Oahu. Yet let’s recognize and show our love to those who have REALLY gone and limped, walked, roughed and ran the extra miles, having celebrated and surpassed their 50 year golden anniversary and beyond. That truly is amazing!

Congratulations to all the Oahu eateries now a part of the 50+ Club, and here’s to many more!

To qualify for the Oahu Eateries 50 + Club, the establishment must be 50 years or older (OK, we’ll give or take a year), be a part of Oahu’s food and beverage industry, still in business under the same name and business model (new ownership is OK, as are slightly modified names such as “Johnny’s Bar & Grill”, previously “Johnny’s Restaurant”), and be located on Oahu.

As with the Oahu Eateries Memorialized list, we again need the help of YOU. So if you know any restaurants in your Oahu neighborhood that have achieved over 50 years in business and still going, let us know about them! Please provide location(s), and if possible, information such as year established, or at least a general idea of when (“opened around the mid 50’s”), founders, current owners/operators, whether they had moved locations or expanded, type of cuisine and favorite or signature dishes, plus whatever else you’d like to share about them. Mahalo!

Oahu Eateries 50+ Club

Alicia’s Market – Mokauea St, Kalihi Kai / established in 1949 by Alicia Kam and husband Ray / mom ‘n pop superette featuring fresh-made Chinese roast meats, local snacks, plate lunches, bento, deli & seafood counter

Aloha Shoyu – Waihono St, Pearl City / established in 1946 in Kalihi by five local Japanese families / manufacturer of soy sauce, vinegar, specialty sauces, glazes and gift sets

Aloha Tofu – Akepo Lane, Kalihi / established in 1950 on Dillingham Blvd (near HCC) by Kamesaburo and Tsuruko Uyehara; currently presided by Paul Uyehara (son of founders) / manufacturer of soft and firm tofu, aburage (deep-fried tofu), natto (fermented soy beans), okara (soy pulp, a tofu manufacturing byproduct), soy milk (a tofu manufacturing byproduct) and konnyaku (gelatinous potato “cake”); recently offering hand-crafted Tofu Mousse in limited supply direct from the factory

Diamond Bakery – Moowaa St, Kalihi / established in 1927 by three Japanese immigrants, Hidegoro Murai, Kikutaro Hiruya and Natsu Muramoto / original Hawaiian Soda Cracker, Saloon Pilot Cracker, Creem Cracker, cookies and other related specialty baked snacks

Dillingham (Boulevard) Saimin – Dillingham Blvd, Palama / established in 1956 by Kazuko Tanaka and her son, Toshiaki / currently operated as Dillingham Saimin under Lynn Yagi, granddaughter of Kazuko Tanaka, featuring same Boulevard Saimin recipes in the same location with same decor; a family spinoff restaurant began nearby on Nimitz Highway as Tanaka Saimin in 2010 by granddaughter Joan and her husband Paul Watanabe, also featuring the same family saimin and other menu recipe from Boulevard Saimin.

Buzz’s Original Steakhouse – Kailua (at the gateway to Lanikai) / established in 1962 by Bobby Lou and (ex-husband) Buzz Schneider / Steaks, seafood and Mai Tais near the beach

Char Hung Sut – Pauahi St, Chinatown, Honolulu / established in 1945 by Bat Moi Kam Mau / Manapua, Pork Hash, Half Moon and Ma Tai Soo dim sum specialties

Chuck’s of Hawaii – Waikiki & Ko’olina / established in 1959 by Chuck Rolles / now open as Chuck’s Steak House, on the second floor of the Outrigger Beach Hotel, right above Duke’s Waikiki, Chuck’s Cellar on Kaiulani Ave, in the Ohana on Kaiulani Ave, Waikiki, and Chuck’s Steak and Seafood in the Marriott Ko’Olina Beach Club. Note, Chuck used to also be a partner owner of Wolfgang Puck Express when they first opened on Oahu. He’s since sold his portion of the ownership.  *contributed by Scott

Chun Wah Kam Noodle Factory – Kalihi St, Kalihi (expanded to various other locations) / estasblished in 1941 by Wah Kam Chun (last name is Chun) / began strictly as a noodle factory; manapua and dim sum specialties began in the 80’s

Crouching Lion Restaurant – established in 1957 as a restaurant, building began as Crouching Lion Inn, a personal residence built in 1928 by contractor George Larsen / currently doing business as Crouching Lion Bar & Grill

Dee-Lite Bakery – Dillingham Blvd, Kalihi / established in 1959 by Herbert & Sue Matsuba / Coconut and Guava Chiffon Cake *contributed by Bob Sigall

Dot’s Restaurant – Mango St & Kilani Ave, Wahiawa / established in 1946 / local food, catering, live music and banquet hall

Foodland – Statewide / established in 1947 by Maurice J. Sullivan, along with the Lau family, with the first location being Hawaii’s first “supermarket” in Market City Shopping Center at the doorstep to Kaimuki / supermarket, deli and bakery

Forty Niner Restaurant – Kamehameha Hwy, Aiea / established in 1947 at same current location by parents of Richard and Henry Chagami; ownership transferred to Will Cordes in 2006 / local favorites; saimin and teri’ burgers

Fukuya – S. King St, Mo’ili’ili / established in 1939 /Okazuya, featuring shiso musubi, tofu fish burger and potato hash, plus many more *contributed by mimi

Gouveas – Ualena St / established in 1933 / “Hawaiian style” Portuguese Sausage

Ha’ili’s Hawaiian Foods – Kapahulu (previously Ward Farmers Market) / established in 1950 by Rachel Ching and Peter Davis Haili in Ward Farmers Market / Hawaiian food

Hansen Distribution Group –  Pearl City  / established in 1957 / food and beverage warehouse and distributor of dry, refrigerated, and frozen goods

Hawaiian Sun – Sand Island Access Rd / established in 1952 as a fresh fruit business, growing papayas and selling them in the Hawaii markets / tropical fruit juices, lite drinks, teas, jams, jellies and coconut products

Hee Hing Restaurant – Kapahulu Ave, Kapahulu / established in 1963 by the Lee family / Cantonese specialties including live lobster and crab, whole fresh fish, taro dishes, as well as Hong Kong style dim sum *contributed by Bob Sigall

Helena’s Hawaiian Food – School St, Kalihi / established in 1946 by Helen “Helena” Chock* on North King St / Hawaiian food *correction by Bob Sigall

Higa Food Service – Nimitz Hwy, Iwilei / established in 1946 by Yeiko Higa in Chinatown / meat, poultry and seafood processor and distributor

Highway Inn – Waipahu / established in 1947 by Seiichi Toguchi / authentic Hawaiian food and fresh seafood (poke)

Honda Tofu – location / established in 1917 / manufacturer

HPC Foods (Taro Brand Poi) – location / established in 1946 / manufacturer

Hygienic Store – Kamehameha Hwy, Kahalu’u / established in 1907 as the company store for the Hygienic Dairy, at once the largest dairy in the state; Simon Chong took over the store from the dairy in 1950 / began as a full service gas station and general store, complete with meat and produce, hardware and rubber boots; currently a convenience store

Jack’s Restaurant – Aina Haina Shopping Center, Aina Haina / established in the early 1960’s by Jack and Wanda Hee / Jack was a fisherman and would grill fish he or his friends caught for breakfast with eggs. His famous biscuits with honey butter was a Wong family (Jack’s mother) secret. Current owner is the third after Jack had enough of browning bacon at 3 am seven days a week for over 30 years. *contributed by Lailin

John’s Groceries – Liliha St, Liliha / established in 1926 / great musubis and shave ice *contributed by Amy

Kilani Bakery – Kilani Ave, Wahiawa / established in 1959 / Brownies and Chantilly cakes *contributed by Ray

La Mariana Tiki Bar & Restaurant – Sand Island / established in 1955* by Annette and Johnny Campbell / Pacific Rim fusion cuisine, Continental and local favorites; live music, kitsch Tiki Bar theme on the ocean; said to be Hawaii’s longest standing “true” Tiki Bar *established date correction by Bob Sigall

Leonard’s Bakery – Kapahulu Ave / established in 1952 by Leonard and Margaret Rego / Malasadas

Libby Manapua Shop – Kalihi St, Kalihi / established in 1962 / Manapua, Pork Hash and Half Moon Dimsum, plus many more specialties; famous pink manapua takeout box

Like Like Drive Inn – Keeaumoku St, Kaka’ako / established in 1953 by Alice and James Nako / 24 hour restaurant featuring classic American diner, local and asian favorites

Liliha Bakery – Kuakini St, Liliha / established in 1950 by Roy and Koo Takakuwa / Coco Puffs, 24 hour diner known for some of the best pancakes on the island!

Love’s Bakery – Middle St, Kalihi / established in 1853 on Nuuanu Street by Robert Love, a native of Glasgow, Scotland; currently doing business as Daiichiya-Love’s Bakery / producer of over 206 varieties of bread, 70 varieties of buns and rolls, and 14 varieties of cakes — all baked fresh in Hawaii

Marians Catering  – Mango Pl, Wahiawa / established in 1935 by Marian Harada /

Matsumoto Shave Ice – Kamehameha Hwy, Haleiwa / established in 1951 by Helen and Mamoru Matsumoto  / ice that’s shaved with sweetened flavored syrup poured over it

Meadow Gold – statewide / established in 1897 when seven O’ahu dairy farms formed a cooperative for a stronger presence in the marketplace / dairy farm operator, manufacturer and distributor of dairy, ice cream and juice

Meg’s Drive-In – Waiakamilo Rd, Kalihi / established in 1963 / local favorites, with hamburger steak, beef stew and Opakaka specials their most popular dishes

Michel’s at the Colony Surf – Kalakaua Ave, Waikiki / established in 1962 / French and Pacific Rim cuisine; tableside service; oceanfront dining on Waikiki beach

Natsunoya Tea House – Makanani Dr, Kalihi / established  in 1921 / traditional Japanese Tea House and sushi bar. *contributed by Ray

Nip’s Potato Chip Factory – Honolulu / established in 1929 / shrimp chips

NOH of Hawaiiestablished in 1963 by Edwin and Miriam Noh / authentic seasoning mixes for all your favorite Hawaiian and Asian dishes *contributed by Bob Sigall

Oahu Market – King St, Chinatown Honolulu / established in 1904 / fresh (and roasted Chinese style) meat, seafood and produce, asian groceries and housewares

Okahara Saimin Factory Limited – location / established in 1933 / manufacturer

Pagoda Floating Restaurant – Rycroft St, Honolulu (near Ala Moana Center) / established in 1964 by HT Hayashi (just a year shy of 50, yet close enough!) / Japanese and pacific rim buffet over a Japanese water garden, featuring Koi and massive Ulua! *Contributed by Scott M.

Palace Saimin – King St, Kalihi / established in 1964 (just a year shy of 50, yet close enough!) by Kame Ige / Saimin & BBQ Sticks

Rainbow Drive-In – Kapahulu Ave, Kapahulu / established in 1961 at same current location by Ayako and Seiju “George” Ifuku; currently owned by same family, managed by in-law Jim Gusukuma; Ifuku foundation supports community groups and gives scholarships to culinary students / local breakfast & plate lunch favorites; loco moco; featured on No Reservations and Diners, Drive-Ins & Dives

Redondo’s – location / established in 1949 / manufacturer

Rego’s Purity location  / established in the 1950’s / manufacturer

Sekiya’s  – Kaimuki Ave, Kaimuki (across KHS) / established in 1955 by Taisuke and Katsuko Sekiya / Japanese and local favorites; beef sticks and won ton soup with french fries on the side; 25 cent jukebox* *contributed by mimi and ray

Shimazu Shave Ice – School St, Kalihi / established in the 1950’s / mom ‘n pop store now focused on Shave Ice, featuring custom house-made flavors *contributed by David Y.

Silva’s Grocery & Liquor – Ewa Beach Rd, Ewa Beach / established in the 1950’s by Frank Silva, taken over by Mr. Tamura; currently owned and operated by Ivy Pantastic and son Wayne as a convenience store, also serving hot manapua and pork hash; Silva’s old sugar plantation style “tin roof” store was used recently as a location in a scene for the new Hawaii Five-O series

S&S Saimin – Kalihi / established in Hawaii 1963; sold to Itoen in 1987, then sold to H&U a.ka Sun Noodle in May 2006 / famous Hawaii brand of fresh saimin for retail sales

St. Louis Delicatessen – Waialae Ave, Kaimuki (next door to St. Louis Drive In) / established in early 1960’s by the Iwamoto family; currently owned and operated by the Higa family / local Okazuya: shrimp, potato and vegetable tempura, long rice, fried chicken, luncheon meat, hot dog, nishime, konbu, maki sushi, musubi, arguable the best okazuya style chow funn on the island

St. Louis Drive In – Waialae Ave, Kaimuki / established in 1961 by the Akimoto family (currently under grandson Wayne) / local plate lunch and bento *contributed by Scott M.

Tamashiro Market – N. King St, Kalihi / established in 1941 on Kamehameha Ave. in Hilo, Hawaii by immigrants Chogen and Yoshiko Tamashiro / live and fresh seafood market; bento and snacks

Tamura Super Market – Farrington Hwy, Waianae / established in the 1940’s by Katsuichi Tamura / supermarket, plate lunches, deli and seafood counter; not affiliated with Tamura’s Market and Winery

Times Supermarket – Statewide / established in 1949 by Albert and Wallace Teruya; currently under new ownership, yet same business model and employees / supermarket, deli and pharmacy

Toshi’s Delicatessen & Restaurant – N. King St, Kalihi / established in 1961 / local & Japanese style Okazuya

Tsukenjo Lunch House – Cooke St, Kaka’ako / established in 1959 by Mitsuko Tsukenjo / local plate lunch; famous throughout the 60’s through 90’s for  their faded red lunch wagon on the corner of Cooke and Ward Ave.

United Fishing Agency – Pier 38, Honolulu Harbor / established in 1952 at Kewalo Basin / Hawaii’s largest fish auction block

Violet’s Grill (New) – Dillingham Blvd, Kalihi / established in 1959; now under third ownership (Suehisa’s) / affordable family restaurant featuring local and Okinawan favorites; oxtail saimin; green river *contributed by Bob Sigall

Waiola Store (Shave Ice) – Waiola St, Mo’ili’ili (and Shave Ice store in Kapahulu) / established in 1940 / convenience store made popular by Shave Ice

Wai’oli Tea Room & Bakery – Manoa / established in 1922 / breakfast, Lunch and High Tea. *contributed by Ray

The Willows – Mo’ili’ili / established in established in 1944 by Kathleen and Al Perry / Pacific Rim Buffet in a tropical garden oasis hidden in the center of Honolulu’s urban sprawl *contributed by Scott M.

W&M Bar-B-Q Burgers – Waialae Ave, Kaimuki / established 1940 by Wilfred and May Kawamura / classic teri-burgers *contributed by Ray

Y. Hata & Co., Ltd. – Sand Island Access Rd / established in 1913 / food and beverage warehouse and distributor

Yick Lung – location / established in 1904 / producer of local snack chips, including Nibb-Its, Shrimp Chips & Taco Tubes

Ying Leong Look Funn Factory – Honolulu / established in the 1950’s by Say Leung Young / Chinese noodles *contributed by Amy

Young’s Fish Market – City Square Shopping Center, Palama / established in 1951 by Wilfred and Charlotte Young on Liliha St / Hawaiian food and fish market *contributed by Amy

45 thoughts on “Oahu Eateries 50+ Club

  • April 14, 2013 at 12:48 pm
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    Pomai, my mom used to attend McKinley High and one of her teacher was Mr. Nip. Son of founder of Nip Potato Chips. It been around since 1929. It has a sad story of his sister died at Pali lookout in a fall off the lookout accident. That why some family members do not care to take over the business.

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  • April 14, 2013 at 3:14 pm
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    Pomai, Maebo One Ton Chips has been around since the 1950. At first not sure if Nip’s Potato Chips made them but with research they indeed made wunton chips sold only on Oahu.

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  • April 14, 2013 at 4:19 pm
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    How about The Crouching Lion Inn in Kaaawa? I think it is old enough but I am unsure how long it has operated as a restaurant.

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  • April 14, 2013 at 8:53 pm
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    Thank you so much for your awesome reply Pomai. Don Quijote was already on my list. We walked past it last visit.

    I’m excited that you are going to write the Costco post, I look forward to it!

    My friend from Wisconsin was at his local Costco today and he sent me a bunch of pictures and also called me with FaceTime while he was in the store. They had a boat for sale! I’m not 100% certain there is anywhere you could use a boat in Wisconsin right now, lol.

    So I’ll end this comment by saying you do tourists an incredible service with the great food blogging you do here. I can’t tell you how many times someone has asked about a place on Tripadvisor and when I have researched it, there is a post from you about it I can link to where they can food photos. Posts like this are a great resource for those wanting to experience a bit of food history when they travel. :)

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    • April 15, 2013 at 11:25 am
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      Beedoo747,

      You probably walked past without going into Don Quijote on your last visit because it looked a bit grungy, and it did. However, they’ve recently done some renovations at the Kaheka St. location, including a newly-paved parking lot and other cosmetic facelifts in and around the store. Otherwise, the building itself really should be torn down and rebuilt. Still, the store itself is one of my favorites.

      Costco locations here will occasionally have a new recreational boat, car or motorcycle on display at the entrance of the store, which all Costco members can purchase at membership discounts. I don’t think it matters what state you’re in.

      Glad to hear this blog has been of help to you. Perhaps I can get a part-time job working for the Hawaii Visitors & Convention Bureau.

      Now that you mention it, that would be a great “theme” for traveling: visit the most historical, oldest eateries of a given place, wherever that may be. You now know where to find them here on Oahu, all in one quick glance of this “Oahu Eateries 50+ Club” list!… and it’s still growing!

      In fact, The Food Network or Travel Channel should do a show or series titled “America’s most historic eateries”, and include some of the places from Hawaii as listed here on the show!

      Oh, another venue to put your MUST-DO list on Oahu is the KCC Farmers Market, held every Saturday from 7:30am to 11:00am. It’s admittedly gotten’ a bit touristy, yet it’s still a great place to get a feel of what Hawaii has to offer for the adventurous foodie, all in one parking lot. Thankfully, the locally grown fruits and vegetables sold there are still priced well below supermarket prices, save for the real exotic stuff, where they command top dollar (like there’s an exotic Pineapple that sells for $25 each.

      Reply
  • April 15, 2013 at 5:28 am
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    Pomai,
    How about Hygenic Store in Kahaluu.

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  • April 15, 2013 at 5:31 am
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    Ted’s Bakery in Haleiwa.

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  • April 15, 2013 at 6:12 am
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    @ Kobi – Upon reading Ted’s history, they changed the name and business model of Sunset Beach Store (which started in 1956) to Ted’s Bakery in 1987. So that’s way out the realm of 50+ Club qualifications. Man, this is getting technical!

    Now Hygienic Store, gosh, GREAT suggestion! How could I have forgotten them! They’re now officially the OLDEST eatery on Oahu on this list! Established in 1907 as the company store for the Hygienic Dairy, at once the largest dairy in the state, Hygienic Store once had a full meat and produce department, as well as full service gas station. What I remember Hygienic Store for wasn’t so much the store inside, but the “store” outside under the Banyan Tree, featuring “drive-through service”. lol

    Speaking of oldest on the list, Silva’s Grocery and Liquor store in Ewa Beach has been taken off the “Oahu Eateries Memorialized” list, and put on the 50+ Plus list here. As of this writing, Silva’s is currently the only food-related business still open in Ewa Beach that’s over 50 years old, having started in the mid-50’s by Frank Silva. While now under new ownership (Ivy Pantastico), the business model and name are still the same. To back up that claim, it’s designated as a historical Hawaii landmark! If you know any eatery or food related business still open in Ewa Beach older than Silva’s, let us know!

    ArnyB – Crouching Lion Restaurant has been added. Great suggestion! While the Inn itself was built in 1928, the restaurant started a bit later in 1957.

    Reply
  • April 16, 2013 at 10:28 am
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    Just added:

    Meg’s Drive-In – est. 1963

    St. Louis Delicatessen (Okazuya) – est. early 1960’s

    Toshi’s Delicatessen (Okazuya) – est. 1961

    Tsukenjo Lunch House – est. 1959

    Reply
  • April 17, 2013 at 6:17 am
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    Just added:

    Oahu Market – est. 1904

    Marians Catering – est. 1935

    I’m debating whether to add Oahu-based food manufacturers and distributors to this list. What do you folks think?

    NOH Foods is already on the list, yet of course there’s MANY others…

    Aloha Shoyu – est. 1946
    Aloha Tofu – est. 1950
    Diamond Bakery – est. 1927
    Gouveas Sausage – est. 1933
    Hansen Distribution Group – est. 1957
    Hawaiian Sun – est. 1950
    Higa Food Service – est. 1946
    Honda Tofu – est. 1917
    HPC Foods (Taro Brand Poi) – est. 1946
    Love’s Bakery – est. 1851 …WOW!!!!!!!!!
    Meadow Gold – est. 1897
    Nip’s Potato Chip Factory – est. 1929
    Okahara Saimin Factory Limited – est. 1933
    Redondo’s – est. 1949
    Rego’s Purity – est. 1950’s
    United Fishing Agency – est. 1952
    Y. Hata & Co., Ltd. – est. 1913
    Yick Lung – est. 1904

    Reply
  • April 17, 2013 at 10:43 am
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    50+
    – Fukuya on So. King. Established 1939. Famous for their shiso musubi, tofu fish burger and potato hash to name a few.
    – S&S Saimin. Established in Hawaii 1963 (ie: H 50th BD) sold to Itoen 1987 then sold to H&U aka Sun Noodle in May 2006.
    25+
    – Yami Yogurt, Ala Moana. Established 1976 (ie 37 yrs) This too is OG, of the fro-yo world. Their best flavors were Natural +/or Cheesecake, swirled with blueberry or chocolate. This is a true survivor in Ala Moana Ctr, where in most of the earliest vendors have shut down or been bought out.
    – Palama Supermarket. Established 1977 (ie 36 yrs) multiple locations.
    – Cookie Corner. Est 1981. This is the local version of Mrs. Fields. Also CC led the pack with making huge cookie edible art.
    – Baldwin’s Sweet Shop, Aiea. Circa 1975
    – Royal Kitchen, Chinatown. Established 1974 (ie 39 yrs) manapua, dim sum, duck by the lb, plus Chinese classic entrees.

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  • April 18, 2013 at 6:06 am
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    Poi Bowl at Ala Moana has been around a long time. I remember when it was next to Lynn’s Deli.

    Reply

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