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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 13, 2013 at 1:34 am

    Pomai, if you’re Chnese Ying Leong Look funn factory is oldest one so far in Honolulu. I remember another place on Hotel St. mom took me as a kid to ran by two Chinese women making funn all day long. The sell steam chow mein in big bag to take home to make chow mein dishes.

  • April 13, 2013 at 5:41 am

    I would be doing 50+ years not 25, you missed The Willows and The Pagoda, both 50+, Helena’s Hawaiian Food at 60+, and you got Like Like and Rainbow, but skipped St. Louis Drive-in, you got Buzz’s and skipped Chuck’s & Chuck’s Cellar that are both 50+. Even Roy’s is 25 years now. :-)

  • April 13, 2013 at 5:52 am

    Pomai, I am worry of my fav ice cream hang out at Sear store. Dave Hawaiian Ice Cream. Made by Dave Leong with Hawaiian ingredients.

    • April 13, 2013 at 11:25 am

      Yup, I like flavor of coconut mac and lychee sherbert. Dave Hawaiian Ice Cream not too long since 1982.

  • April 13, 2013 at 7:00 am

    Shimazu Shaved Ice on School Street

  • April 13, 2013 at 7:33 am

    Scott, I agree. While 25 years in business as a restaurant is still quite an achievement, the list would be way too long for 25. 50 it is.

    Boulevard Saimin blew it by renaming themselves Dillingham Saimin. That restaurant dates back to the 1950’s, yet do we still consider it, now that it’s renamed, even if it still has the same business model, menu and ownership?

    • April 14, 2013 at 4:19 pm

      Yeah I’d let Boulevard/Dillingham slide because they had to change names for reasons beyond their control :)

  • April 13, 2013 at 7:46 am

    Pomai, my late grandmother used to work at Young Fish Market on Liliha St. There was one located at Chun Hoon Plaza also. Since 1951 been opened.

  • April 13, 2013 at 11:20 am

    Pomai, not sure how long was Libby in business? I only remember mom buying food from there in old location.

  • April 13, 2013 at 11:40 am

    Sekiya’s Restaurant – according to their website, “In 1935 Taisuke and Katsuko Sekiya first started their restaurant “School Delicatessen” on School Street. In 1947 Sekiya’s moved to the end of Kapahulu Avenue. Then in 1955 it moved to 2746 Kaimuki Avenue where it is presently located.” Known for okazu, plate lunches and saimin.

  • April 13, 2013 at 11:43 am

    Not sure when Kenny opened? Maybe around in the “60”.

  • April 13, 2013 at 12:26 pm

    @ Vickie – Kenny’s Restaurant was established in 1966 by John Fujieki, Herbert Souza and Kenny Kaneshiro. So they’ve still got another 3 years to hit their 50th Anniversary.

    @ Ray – added. Thanks!

    @ Aaron – I tried calling Libby’s but as expected, nobody picks up. I hear their customer service needs “help”.

    @ Amy – added. Thanks!

    Also added Dot’s Restaurant in Wahiawa and Char Hung Sut in Chinatown. There must be a quite a few more eateries in Chinatown Honolulu that are over 50.

  • April 13, 2013 at 2:42 pm

    Kilani Bakery, Wahiawa, established 1959. Brownies and Chantilly cakes.

    Wai’oli Tea Room, Manoa, established 1922. Breakfast, Lunch and High Tea.

    Natsunoya Tea House, Kalihi, established 1921. Traditional Japanese Tea House and sushi bar.

  • April 13, 2013 at 5:12 pm

    @ Ray – added. Thanks! Note, I also thought about Treetops Restaurant in Manoa Valley, where come to find out, they were established in 1967. So they also still have a few more years to reach their 50th. Will add them all once they reach it.

    Here’s the list of the 25+ Club members that were originally included this post:


    Bob’s Bar-B-Que – Waiakamilo Home Rd & Dillingham Blvd, Palama/Kalihi / established in 1978 by Bob Wong in same location / serving local breakfast and plate lunch favorites; BBQ Hibachi Chicken, Kalbi and Teri Beef

    Deluxe Pastry Shop – Kamehameha Hwy, Kaneohe / established in / Chantilly Cakes and pastries, Apple and Coconut turnovers, wedding cakes

    Ethel’s Grill
    – Kalihi St, Kalihi Kai / established in 1978 by Ethel and Yoichi Ishii / local-Japanese fusion

    Down to Earth – Islandwide & Maui / established in 1977 / organic and natural market

    Fort Ruger Market – Alohea Ave and Edna St (near KCC) / established in by Tamada family / superette (mom ‘n pop grocery and convenience store) and deli, featuring Hawaiian and local favorites, fresh poke, boiled peanuts, bento and other pupu favorites

    Hifumi Japanese Restaurant
    – Chinatown Plaza, downtown Honolulu / established in 1969 / Teishoku, Wafu, & local favorites

    Hy’s Steakhouse
    – Kuhio Ave, Waikiki / established in 1977 / fine dining

    Kamehameha Bakery – School St, Kalihi / established in / pastries, featuring glazed Poi donuts

    Kapahulu Poi Shop – Kapahulu / established in / Hawaiian food

    Kaneohe Bakery
    – School St, Kalihi / established in / pastries, cakes, pies and breads

    Kenny’s Restaurant
    – Kamehameha Shopping Center, Kalihi / established in 1966 by John Fujieki, Herbert Souza and Kenny Kaneshiro / classic American diner and local favorites

    Kikuya – Kahuhipa St, Kaneohe / established in 1973 on Kamehameha Highway, Kaneohe by Fumio & Shizuka Nagasawa (Nihongin Issei); moved to Kahuhipa Street in 1983; currently operated by original owners and son, Mike; note, Kikuya restaurant in Kalihi is NOT affiliated with Kikuya in Kaneohe. / Japanese Teishoku featuring fresh-caught Hawaiian fish such as opelu, akule, onaga, uhu and menpachi

    Kim Chee I – Kamehameha Hwy, Kaneohe / established in 1975 / Korean cuisine; excellent Kalbi

    Kin Wah Chop Suey – Kamehameha Hwy, Kaneohe / established in 1982; currently operated by original founder’s family members, chef-owners Jian Wei Cheng and Kin Hang Kwok / family-friendly Cantonese Chinese cuisine

    Lee’s Drive-In – Kamehameha Hwy, Kaneohe / established in the late 1960’s / hamburgers and Chinese Dim Sum (wow!)

    Masa & Joyce Okazuya
    – Kamehameha Hwy, Kaneohe / established in 1979 by Masa & Joyce in Temple Valley, Kahalu’u as a fish market; moved to Kaneohe next to Kin Wah Chop Suey in the early 80’s / local & Japanese okazuya favorites, Hawaiian food and fresh Poke

    McDonald’s Hawaii – Statewide / first Hawaii location established in 1968 in Aina Haina / All-American burger joint, now diversified; first McDonald’s corporate location in history to offer a menu item tailored to the local demographic — that being Saimin, thanks to Maurice J. Sullivan, founder of Foodland convincing Ray Kroc of its potential sales increases. McDonald’s original Saimin recipe said to have been influenced by visits from Mr. Kroc and Sullivan to Washington Saimin and Boulevard Saimin.

    Moose McGillycuddy’s – Lewers St, Waikiki / established in 1980 / restaurant, bar and nightclub

    Ono Hawaiian Food – Kapahulu Ave / established in / Hawaiian food that’s ono

    Shirokiya – Ala Moana Center / established in 1966 in Ala Moana Center, however original Shirokiya in Japan dry goods store at Nihonbashi in Edo, (now Tokyo) in August 1662! / Japanese department store and food court; recently expanded 2nd floor food court, renamed as Yataimura

    Sunny Side – Kilani Ave, Wahiawa / established in 1973 / pies and plate lunches

    Yama’s Fish Market – Mo’ili’ili – established in 1980 / okazuya and Hawaii food purveyor and caterer

    Zippy’s – Islandwide, Oahu + Maui / established in 1966 by Francis and Charles Higa / takeout and diner featuring American, local and asian favorites; fundraiser Chili, Zip Pac, Zip Min, Zippy’s Fried Chicken, Napoleon’s Bakery Napples

  • April 13, 2013 at 6:53 pm

    Pomai, I always passed by on Liliha St. Jane’s Fountain. Wonder how old and long it been there? Place look like time stood still.

  • April 14, 2013 at 3:02 am

    Man, that place is famous for Anthony Bourdain was there for his No Reaservatio show. I too wonder how old is that place so retro looking.

    • April 14, 2013 at 3:39 am


      You’re talking about New Uptown Fountain, previously located on School Street, near Liliha Street, which ironically closed soon after that No Reservations segment was taped. That N.R. segment was all about SPAM, and was really cheesy, actually. Never-the-less, local boy Dave Choo did a great job as Bourdain’s commentary dining guest…

      • April 14, 2013 at 5:08 am

        Pomai, thanks for correcting me my wrong. Gusse fountain was the reason I got mixed up Jane’s Fountain since it only one now around. I saw in web there a New Uptown Fountain same address different owners. Not sure it still open.

  • April 14, 2013 at 6:56 am

    On Kauai I can only think of three candidates off-hand: Tip Top Cafe(1920s), BBQ Inn (1947), and perhaps Hamura’s Saimin (1960?). All in Lihue.

  • April 14, 2013 at 8:13 am

    Jack’s Coffee Shop in Aina Haina Shopping Center was opened in the early 1960s 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 had enough of browning bacon at 3 am seven days a week for over 30 years.

  • April 14, 2013 at 9:11 am

    Pomai, John Groceries in my neighborhood been around long long time. Since 1926. Great musubis and shaved ice. On Liliha St.

  • April 14, 2013 at 9:17 am

    @ pat – Well, putting population numbers ito persective, along with surely the more difficult dynamics of restaurant survival on Kauai, having three that’s over 50 is quite amazing, actually! I’ll make it a point to visit BBQ Inn on my next hop to the garden isle! Perhaps I’ll visit all three and do a Kauai Eateries 50+ Club, including full reviews of each restaurant.

    @ Amy – added John’s Groceries. Thanks! That’s EXACTLY the kind of places I wanna’ hear about. Those small, hole-in-the-wall obscure neighborhood superettes that we haunted back in the hana battah dayz for snacks ‘n stuff. Too bad Tanabe Superette on Koreamoku Street recently closed. They were around since the 1920’s! I swear, they had da’ best Musubis! There’s probably quite a few more around the island that are older than 50!

    @ Lailin – added. Thanks! Gosh, how many times I’m shopping at Foodland Farms Aina Haina, and NEVER ever thought of dining at Jack’s Restaurant. I’ll have to check it out! I know that’s a favorite place for KHON’s Joe Moore, as he lives nearby. I believe he and sports anchor Kanoa Leihi often dine together there.

    Speaking of TV personalities, do you remember Lucky’s Tavern on Lunalilo Home Road, where Foodland Koko Marina now is? This was way back when Hawaii Kai was nothing but farm land. Lucky’s Tavern was a small bar owned by the late Robert “Lucky” Luck, a famous radio personality, known for his heavy pidgin (who amazingly was actually a haole boy from Missouri). His show competed against J. Aku Pupule’s radio show. Way, way, WAY back in the day, mom used to go to Lucky’s Tavern and bring crab she and her friends had just caught out in Maunalua Bay and bring it to Lucky, where he would cook it for them as pupu.

    This is what Lucky Luck’s son Pomaika’i (hey, we got the same name!) told me about Lucky’s Tavern…

    “Aloha Pomai..
    I don’t think my dad owned the Okole Maluna. He owned Lucky’s Tavern accross the street off Lunalilo Home Road. I was a small keiki at that time and I remember playing outside the Tavern in a huge hau tree. I remember some of da “boys” would come home on Friday with their paychecks and want to spend it all on beer but Dad would give them a limit and hold the rest of their cashed checks because he was worried about them and didn’t want their wives to be huhu with him. We lived on Papio Street up the road. My brothers and I used ride our bikes down to the store that was next to Okole Maluna to get candy after school. That’s what I remember and I thought you might want to know….Robert Luck”

  • April 14, 2013 at 9:27 am

    Enjoyed your entry very much .

  • April 14, 2013 at 9:47 am

    @ Kelike – added Tamashiro Market. Thanks! Gosh, how did I forget Tamashiro Market? Duh!

    I thought Tanioka’s in Waipahu was that old too, however they came way later, being established in 1978. At least they’re a part of the 25+ Club.

    I also just added Libby Manapua Shop to the 50+ Club, as I just got off the phone with them and confirmed they were established in 1962. However, they didn’t want to tell me who the original founder was. “Ancient Chinese Secret”. lol

    I also just called Island Manapua Factory on Gulick Ave, where I found out they were started in 1978, way after their competition. I’ve got a lot more phone calls to make.

  • April 14, 2013 at 10:02 am

    W & M Bar-BQ Burger- Waialae Ave, Kaimuki / established 1940 by Wilfred and May Kawamura / classic teri-burgers

  • April 14, 2013 at 10:22 am

    This is truly an awesome post, Pomai. :)

    We are going to be visiting Oahu in November and I keep finding myself back at your blog anytime I search for something food related. :)

    Can I make a suggestion for a future post? It is possible that the next time you go to Costco, that you could take some pics and give us an idea of what items you can only find at Costco in Hawaii – made in Hawaii items especially?

    Some Costcos are weird about people taking photos, some do not care one iota. I always try to be a bit stealth about it in case they get all wacky..

    Do they have dark chocolate coated mac nuts? Do they have touristy type stuff like Walmart does – calenders, etc? Is there Hawaii style spice sprinkles or rubs that you can put on meat/chicken/fish?

    Which is the best Costco on Oahu to visit?

    Also items essential for holidays, like sunscreen, beach towels, etc?

    I have heard the sorbet/gelato at the cafe there is pretty good, have you tried it and if so what are the 3 flavours?

    These are just some of my many Costco questions. :) Which would probably be best answered in the post if you decide to write it, so as not to drag this comment thread way off topic.

    Coming from Australia, our Costco is quite different to your Costcos though we still see a lot of Kirkland products – my understanding is that in the US most of them differ from state to state as far as what they stock.

    I know it sounds bizarre but this is one of the places I am really looking forward to visiting – we love Costco here, I think it could only be better in Hawaii.

    • April 14, 2013 at 11:39 am


      I’m not sure what time you’re scheduled to arrive at HNL Hawaii time, but if it’s between 8am and 4pm Monday through Saturday HST, STOP BY ALICIA’S MARKET on your way to Waikiki from the airport. That is, providing you’re renting a car. In fact, I recommend you NOT eat on the plane, and save your appetite for Alicia’s Market. Guaranteed WAY, WAY, WAY better than anything microwaved coming out of the airline’s flight kitchen, unless you’re flying first class, then maybe.

      Even if you do eat on the plane, just stop by Alicia’s anyway, and grab some grub for later in the hotel room. Way, WAY better than anything you can buy at the ABC convenience store on every corner in Waikiki.

      Trust me, when you walk into Alicia’s deli area, your brain and stomach will be in hunger sensory OVERLOAD! :yes:


      Look up the map directions on Google or Bing. It’s right on the way from the airport, within 10 minutes drive time.

      • April 14, 2013 at 4:41 pm

        That’s hilarious that you mention Alicia’s as a must stop on the way into town from the airport. We used to hit Costco then Zippy’s. Then it was Rainbow; October it was Ethel’s; and this time the boyfriend said we MUST stop at Alicia’s. Fishy stuff for him, porky stuff for me.

  • April 14, 2013 at 10:31 am

    Helen Chock named her place Helena’s to make it sound more Local. Her name was not Helena’s

    1950: Flamingo
    1955: La Mariana
    1959: Dee-Lite Bakery
    1961: Violet’s Grill
    1963: Noh Foods, Hee Hing

    • July 6, 2015 at 9:27 pm

      Palace Saimin was established in 1946 (not 1964).



  • April 14, 2013 at 11:27 am

    @ Bob Sigall – added your list. Thanks! Only one didn’t add is Flamingo’s, which as you know closed, and is in the process of being demolished, making way for a Korean restaurant with a really funny name. Glad to have you onboard! Folks, you seriously need to pick up a copy of Bob’s book ‘The Companies We Keep’. By far the BEST coffee table discussion piece you will ever own. Truly fascinating facts and stories about all the famous businesses in Hawaii, both past and present.

    @ Beedoo747 – regarding the made in Hawaii products at Costco project, you got it! I frequent the Hawaii Kai (East Oahu) and Iwilei Costco (industrial zone near downtown Honolulu), where I’ve never had problems taking photos, with Costco employees standing right by me, not saying a thing. Some have even helped me set-up the products to look nice! Personally I prefer the Hawaii Kai Costco, just because it feels more relaxed an neighborhood-like. The Iwilei Costco feels busy and rushed by comparison. As far as inventory, I think Costco updated all their locations here on Oahu now to all carry the same skus, including the deli area where the Rotisserie Chickens are prepared. The only thing the Hawaii Kai Costco doesn’t have that all the others do is the gas station. As for “touristy” products, yeah, I’d say you could find stuff there to buy as gifts to take back home, like made-in-Hawaii gourmet salts, dressing, candies and macadamia nut chocolates, packaged in bulk quantities and/or gift sets. Christmas is especially a good time to shop at Costco if you’re looking for food-related made-in-Hawaii gift sets.

    You really should also check out Don Quijote, located within walking distance from Ala Moana Center (just minutes from Waikiki). They’ve got ALL kinds of Made in Hawaii food products. Probably the best selection on the island at the best prices. Check out their current ad at the following link for a good idea of what Don Quijote carries…

    Next to Costco, that’s my favorite grocery store. Safeway too, but Don Quijote better, especially for the Japanese imported food products.

    Other asian grocery stores worth checking out are:
    Palama Market (there’s one right by Don Quijote) – Korean grocery store
    Marukai (there’s one in Ward Farmers Market – Japanese grocery store, membership required, however It think they offer guest passes
    Nijiya Market (located next to Ala Moana Center ) – Japanese market featuring organic Japanese deli foods
    Pacific Market – Waipahu – this store is simply a TRIP! They’ve got imported groceries from the Philippines, Vietnam, Thailand, Taiwan, Korea, Japan and more. While out in Waipahu, don’t forget to get poke at Tanioka’s and Hawaiian Food at Highway Inn!

    Also check out Down to Earth on King Street, featuring organic and healthy living groceries, locally-farmed organic produce and an INCREDIBLE vegetarian deli counter! They’re similar to Whole Foods, which we also have one Kahala as well as Kailua. That’s a cool store.

    :yes: :yes: :yes:

  • April 14, 2013 at 12:24 pm

    Pomai, how could I forget my old Chinese stomping ground. Oahu Market been around since the 1940. My Grandparents took me as a kid shopping for meats and cooked food there lot of times. To catch up with lastest gossips on the island. Heh Heh . Those were the days.

    • April 16, 2013 at 5:33 pm

      I think Oahu Market was established in 1904. That over a hundred years in business. Wonder if it city owned?

  • April 14, 2013 at 12:48 pm

    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.

  • April 14, 2013 at 3:14 pm

    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.

  • April 14, 2013 at 4:19 pm

    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.

  • April 14, 2013 at 8:53 pm

    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. :)

    • April 15, 2013 at 11:25 am


      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.

  • April 15, 2013 at 5:28 am

    How about Hygenic Store in Kahaluu.

  • April 15, 2013 at 5:31 am

    Ted’s Bakery in Haleiwa.

  • April 15, 2013 at 6:12 am

    @ 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.

  • April 16, 2013 at 10:28 am

    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

  • April 17, 2013 at 6:17 am

    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

  • April 17, 2013 at 10:43 am

    – 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.
    – 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.

  • April 18, 2013 at 6:06 am

    Poi Bowl at Ala Moana has been around a long time. I remember when it was next to Lynn’s Deli.


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