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Silva’s Store Serving Ewa Beach Over 60 Years

From the biggest box you can shop at Costco, we’re now at the smallest yet most endearing box in town. Where, ask any old timer from Ewa Beach what they remember most about what was once a mainly sugarcane plantation community they grew up in, and chances are Tanaka’s, Jimmy Ha’s and Silva store will come up in the conversation. Those three mom ‘n pop stores being the primary and only game in Ewa Beach town back in the day for daily necessities, long before Ewa Beach became “Gentrified” with modern suburban development, along with the large commercial retail and restaurant sector that’s since come along with that. Safeway now being the largest player yet to call Ewa Beach their new home, having opened recently in November 2012.

“Mom ‘n Pop” being the operative tag line, as well you know, even before the likes of “category killers” such as Walmart and other “big box” type retailers, “supermarkets” were already a competitive threat to the “little guy mom ‘n pop” stores, with supermarkets having a significantly larger product selection and lower prices.

Yet through it all, like a few and proud other “mom ‘n pops” still standing in other neighborhoods, way WAY out in Ewa Beach, literally footsteps from THE BEACH, serving the community for over 60 years is Silva’s Grocery & Liquor, established in 1948. Which according to my very reliable resource, who would be one of my coworkers who grew up since he was just 4 years old back in the 50’s in Ewa Beach, say Silva’s is by far, no question THE OLDEST STORE still in business today in Ewa Beach under the same name, in the same location, in the original building.

While retaining the legacy name to this day, Silva’s has gone through several ownerships over the years. Joe Silva established and ran the business, along with his brother Frank from the early 1950’s to around 1965. Then the business was leased under the same name to the Tamura family, where from then on it passed on several other owners who continued running the business to today, where it’s currently owned and operated for over 14 years to present by Ivy Pantastico, with operational help from her son Dwayne.

A quick note about Joe Silva, like Jimmy Ha and Mr. Tanaka, Mr. Silva was known to be a rather cranky ole’ fellah who always had a cigar in his mouth. And like the other stores, Ewa Beach neighborhood kids had a “revolving credit” account at Silva’s, where parents could send them there for grocery, cigarette and beer runs and “charge it” under their parents’ name, who would pay the bill later when they came in. The “keeds” of course could also add candies and other snacks to that charge as a bonus “tip” for the deed. Nice! Which is no wonder to this day upon looking at the merchandise selection at stores like Silva’s, you quickly realize this is as much for the neighborhood kids to “shop”, as it is was back then for that sweaty sugarcane plantation worker who just got done a day’s shift, looking for some smokes and cold beer to relax with.

Other historic notes about Joe Silva is that his son Barney Silva was once a popular surfboard shaper, who’s said to be living on Maui now, still shaping surfboards. Also, right across the street from Silva’s store in the 50’s was Our Lady of Perpetual Help, a Catholic church. While Our Lady of of Perpetual Help church has since moved next to Campbell High School around 1976, the building is still there across from Silva’s store as a Samoan church. Also, the house right on the beach behind Silva’s store was where Joe Silva lived, and to this day is being leased to Ivy Pantastico by the Silva family.

Now let’s check out Silva’s store in its current form, where I visited the place this past Wednesday, April 24, 2013, around lunch hour. Please don’t mind some of the shaky photos. More on that later. Enjoy…

At the now iconic Silva Store in Ewa Beach today, it pretty much epitomizes the mom ‘n pop version of 7 Eleven, with all the usual eclectic selection of daily necessities you’d find there, albeit for the sake of convenience, at prices you’d expect to be higher than what you’ll find at a supermarket, or of course in bulk at the likes of Costco.

Fresh bread to “saimin”…

Beef Stew to Ragu…

Fruit Punch to Coconut Milk…

Pretty good deal on the bottled water in front…

You know, I don’t know what the HECK happened with my camera (my Canon, not the Note II) while I was in there, but practically ALL my shots turned out blurry from camera shake.. and I KNOW I had optical image stabilization turned on. Perhaps Mr. Silva woke from his grave, came back and said, “no boy, you not going take pictahz inside my store. I went buss my okole for YEARS in there. You gotta’ EARN those pictahz!”. lol

Anyhow, moving along, got a baking project and in a bind? Silva’s got your back…

Valvoline to Tampax…

I swear, Mr. Silva must have been hitting my arm while I was taking these shots…

The Hygienic Store of Ewa Beach…

Keiki Korner…

Ice cold beer, domestic to import…

Milk, fruit juice, water, fresh produce and house-made pie!…

Back in the day, this would have been Yick Lung brand…

More li hing ‘kine stuffs…

This is probably the most classic (next to some of the kiddy machines) in the store…

Well, let’s open it and take a look!…

I swear, the whole vibe in Silva’s store isn’t really like you’re in a store, but more like you’re “shopping” at grandma’s house! LOL!!!! Seriously, look at that! Isn’t just about everything you’ve seen thus far look almost like you’re in grandma’s or your mom’s kitchen?

The Ewa Plains are so hot, even the chocolate bars need to keep cool…

Milk at Silva’s runs just under a conveniently hefty $9 per gallon…

Fresh produce, from onions, celery, carrots and tomatoes, to lemon ‘n limes…

Yup, just like grandma’s kitchen…

Small keeds alway love them cheapy plastic toys!..

Dwayne mentioned that no matter what, if children come into the store with their parents, 9 out of 10 times, they’re leaving with a toy. I’ll bet!

If I were 5 years old, this is probably what I’d head straight for…

As mentioned before, I’d say half the merchandising strategy here is geared for children…

Mr. Silva’s at it again bumping my arm while I’m taking photos…

More stuff for the keiki…

Talk about maximizing storage space!

Up at the checkout counter of course we have our hard liquor and cigarettes…

Speaking of hard liquor, wait until the next post, where we stop by Ewa Pantry. My friends, you have NOT seen booze GALORE until you’ve been to Ewa Pantry, also obviously in Ewa Beach. OMG! Totally INSANE! In fact, come to find out, Danny Hwang, owner of Ewa Pantry, once owned Silva’s Grocery & Liquor 17 years ago! I kid you not! Small world, I tell ya’. I found this out upon talking to Danny over the phone while I was in Ewa Pantry to get permission to take photographs of the shop. Turns out he’s a really nice guy, who also used to own Diner’s Drive-In in Pearl City.

Back to Silva’s front counter, they also serve hot food, including on this visit, Ivy Pantastico’s own “Pantastic!” Chili and Rice…

Also stay get Manapua kine stuffs laddat…

One last tidbit about Silva’s store, is that the Hawaii Five-O reboot had actually scheduled a location shoot at the store, going as far as hiring HPD police to block off Ewa Beach Road the day of the shoot. However, something happened with their production schedule where they were filming in Kapolei that same day, so they ended up not making it for the shoot at Silva’s store. Yet I can certainly see why the producers would have wanted to use an old plantation home store like Silva’s as a prop for a Hawaii Five-O scene.

Lastly, being that Silva’s store has been around for so long, Dwayne mentioned how every now and then he’ll have folks stop by and say that they grew up in Ewa Beach way back when then left town, and can’t believe to this day that the store is still around. He also has watched neighborhood kids grow up while working there become adults with children themselves, as the store has lasted literally GENERATIONS.

Well there ya’ go. Silva’s store, serving the community since 1948, remaining to this day the oldest store in Ewa Beach!

Silva Grocery & Liquor
91-455 Ewa Beach Road
Ewa Beach, Hawaii  96706

Tel. (808) 689-0595

Business Hours:
Monday – Thursday 8am to 9pm
Friday & Saturday 8am to 11pm
Sunday 8am to 8pm

Silva’s Grocery & Liquor on Facebook
Silva’s Grocery & Liquor on Yelp

P.S. I visited Silva’s store not just for a little record keeping, but also for lunch! So I ended up sampling Ivy Pantastico’s “Pantastic” Chili ‘n Rice, along with her also “Pantastic” Pumpkin Crunch dessert…

Silva’s Grocery & Liquor in Ewa Beach – Ivy Pantastico’s “Pantastic” Chili & Rice Bowl for $3 and “Pantastic” Pumpkin Crunch dessert for $4

And? The chili was winnahz! It had ground beef in it, which I could have done without, but oh well. I’ll let this one slide. It was pretty much just a really good Chili, no more, no less. I’d say a simplified version of Zippy’s Chili if you will, with an ample amount of Kidney beans and just the right amount of onions in it, while being seasoned just right, also not being greasy at all. Definitely a deal at just $3 for a generous serving, including rice.

Now Ivy’s “Pantastic” Pumpkin Crunch?…

Ivy Pantastico’s “Pantastic” Pumpkin Crunch. $4 each while supplies last at Silva’s store in Ewa Beach.

Dude. DUDE! Shut the front door, I’m tellin’ ya’, this my friends has got to be THE BEST anything ending with the name “crunch”. This could have been called “Rubbah Slippah Crunch” for all I care and I’d have absolutely DEVOURED it. It’s like Ivy took the best Shortbread Cookie ever made, the richest New York Cheesecake, and the ultimate Pumpkin Pie, and somehow magically massaged it all together with loads of butter and sugar and came out with Ivy’s “Pantastic” Pumpkin Crunch.

If there’s ANY reason to check out Silva’s store other than the nostalgia itself, it would be Ivy’s “Pantastic” Pumpkin Crunch!  $4 may seem a bit steep at first glance for single slice of takeout “pie”, however this is easily 2 servings worth, and you WILL feel it in butter and sugar. But BELIEVE ME, it is broke da’ mout ONO! Easily this has to be the best dessert you’ll find this side of the Ewa Plains. In fact, it’s so popular, Ivy sells it on the side for her niece’s softball fundraisers, so you KNOW da’ buggah is winnahz. So go get Ivy’s Pumpkin Crunch at Silva’s store, STAT! You’ll thank me later. Just make sure to brush your teeth well and run a few laps around the park afterwards. Oh, and don’t forget that bottle of shaving cream and loaf of bread you just ran out of while you’re there.

Silva’s neighbor on the beach (literally), right behind Silva’s store on Ewa Beach Road

Ewa Beach Road, in front of Silva’s store, looking Diamond Head bound

Ewa Beach Road, in front of Silva’s store, looking Ewa bound… oh wait… we’re IN Ewa! lol

59 thoughts on “Silva’s Store Serving Ewa Beach Over 60 Years

  • April 26, 2013 at 12:23 pm

    I love this post. It takes me back to the mom & pop stores I used to go to, whose names I can’t remember.

    • April 26, 2013 at 1:49 pm


      That’s EXACTLY what I was trying to convey with this post.

      Where I grew up in Kaneohe, it was already modernized at the time (mid to late 70’s), so we never had really old school stores like Silva’s, Tanabe Superette (now closed) and Alicia’s nearby to frequent. At least, none that I remember.

      Yet, I can totally relate, as the next closest thing to it would be our neighborhood “Manapua Man” in the beat-up white van, going around our neighborhood in Ali’i Shores blasting tinkerbox “music”, selling everything from Manapua, Chow Funn, Honey Twists and Ice Cream, to cheap plastic toys. Same thing like an old school neighborhood convenience store, except on wheels.

      Ah, those were the days!

  • April 26, 2013 at 5:39 pm

    I love mom ‘n pop stores like that. The selection there is amazing. I grew up around one like that, but it was nowhere near as well-stocked. I remember walking to the shop with the neighborhood kids to stock up on Nerds, Jolly Rancher Stix and Atomic Fire Balls.

  • April 26, 2013 at 5:42 pm

    Makes me think of Waikane store on the windward side. They are still there, serving some mean prepared foods. Makisushi and Korean chicken to go, please!

  • April 26, 2013 at 7:43 pm

    I thought the chilled candy was a Kauai thing. My wife thinks i am weird.

  • April 26, 2013 at 9:32 pm

    @ pat – I don’t think it’s a “Kauai thing”, but more a “more makule, more pupule” thing. :laugh: Nah, but seriously, it’s pretty arid and dry out there in Ewa Beach, so I can see why they do that. Looking back at the shelf of candy out at room temperature, you notice there’s no chocolate there, except for M&M’s, which have that “melts in your mouth, not in our hands” protective candy coating.

    @ Kanoki – I’ll most certainly have to pay a visit to Waikane Store on my next treck out to the North Shore! Mahalo for the tip!

    @ h – Ah-ha! While being a vegetarian, I just KNEW you had a gastronomic weakness, in the form of sweets. Oh wait. Didn’t I already know that? Funny you say how well-stocked Silva store is, when, at least on this visit, many of the shelves and peg hooks on walls had “pukas” (holes) where merchandise had been depleted. Yet that’s what makes it that much more charming!

    • April 27, 2013 at 4:56 am

      I meant variety. Most convenience stores have one option for shampoo, one option for conditioner, etc.

  • April 27, 2013 at 2:01 am

    Pomai, it might be true of the late Mr. Silvas making your camera not taking clear pictures. My late father when he passed away had strange things happened to our home the first night of passing. Lights kept turn on by it self so tv. Phone kept ringing but no one spoke. At fureral my younger sister said someone kept tapping on her arm.

    Mr. Silvas was fussy maybe you have buy something to take pictures. You know how store keeper are.

  • April 28, 2013 at 1:36 am

    We need to patronize these mom and pop stores so they stay alive and well. Too many places are becoming an endangered species. Thanks to Ivy for keeping the character of the store the way I remembered it many many years ago.

  • April 28, 2013 at 8:36 am

    Agree with Kanoki. Waikane store for sushi and chicken. I used to stop there when I worked at Kualoa Regional park. One more little store in Kahaluu was Country Stop by Wongs Village. Used to be called Tang Store. Before they built the canoe house by the bridge near Hygenic store there used to be another mom and pop called Yamashiro’s.

  • April 28, 2013 at 9:21 am

    @ kobi – then you must also remember next to the Hygienic Store under the Banyan Tree, had “Da’ Pakalolo Store”. lol There was another old mom ‘n pop store out Hau’ula like Silva’s, and the ones you mentioned. I think it was called the Hau’ula Store. A fellah used to sit in front of that store every day by the name of “Kimo Boy”, or something like that.

    In Kailua, there’s Kalapawai Market, near Buzz’s Steakhouse, at the entrance to Kailua Beach Park. Back in the day it was an old mom n’ pop type general store, however today it’s all modernized, for better or worse. I dunno’. It’s nice to renovate, however you lose lots of its old school charm at the same time. I don’t know If I could accept Alicia’s Market if it looked all modern and chic. I suppose as long as the food’s still the same, it shouldn’t matter.

    Fort Ruger Market near KCC still has the same old school charm, regardless of long being under new ownership, including the same Hawaiian Food and Poke deli, along with their famous boiled peanuts and other ready-to-go snacks. Oh, speaking of Mom ‘n Pop Boiled Peanuts, Alicia’s is THE BEST, hands down. Main reason being they use the “bambucha” Virginia style peanuts. Gosh I could go for a bag of that right about now!

    @ Babo – I have yet to talk with Ivy. I only got to meet her son Dwayne, as he works the morning and early afternoon shifts. He said Ivy would know much more about the history of Silva’s. The info’ I got is from my coworker, who grew up not far from the place, going all the way to when Silva’s first started.

    @ Amy – well, I jokingly mentioned to Dwayne the notion of some kind of “ghost” unknowningly bumping my camera, and he said he never had any “obake” kine’ feelings in that store for all the years he’s worked there, only good vibes.

    I might need to reduce how much green tea I’m drinking, as all the caffeine and other chemicals in it must be giving my arms the jitters. Seriously, sometimes I can see it when I’m trying to take macro shots, my hand shakes like I’m 90 years old.

    @ h – now that you mention it, so true. They don’t have just one type of liquid body wash, but several. Same for Ziploc® Bags, Charcoal, crackers, pasta sauces, etc.

    Speaking of which, I remember when I used to live in a beach house near Kualoa Ranch, I actually did a lot of my “grocery shopping” at the 7-Eleven in Kaa’awa, next to the Post Office (right across Swanzies Beach Park). I remember my friend (cough-cough) used to come over and go in our mini fridge and check if something “new” magically would appear in there, always disappointed, so we’d hop in the car and take a drive down to Temple Valley Shopping Center for “REAL” grocery shopping.

    • April 28, 2013 at 6:50 pm

      The only time I’ve “grocery shopped” at the convenience store was when I was in college full time from 3pm-10, and working full time from 4am-1pm. I ate a crazy diet during those periods, and when I was on school break, I stalked the farmers market and live on all sorts of salads. I think I would have enjoyed convenience store grocery shopping much more if it was a trade-off for living on the beach!!

      • April 28, 2013 at 7:46 pm

        @ h – holy moly, that must have been quite a stressful schedule. Inhuman, actually! Surely beach house living would have been a nice way to absorb some of that stress.

        I just got off the phone with Ivy Pantastico, where as it turns out, I only needed to make one correction to the post, being that Silva’s store was established in 1948, not the early 50’s. WOW! Also, Ivy has been running Silva store for over 14 years now, and enjoying every moment of it! Supah’ cool sistah! :heart:

        • April 29, 2013 at 4:33 am

          Nah, it was a great schedule. I had to work, and I had to go to school. I hate mornings and trusted myself more to get to work on time than to get to a morning class on time, so it all worked out. I didn’t want to work retail or hospitality, so I found a job as a traffic manager for a flower importer (most of the flowers on the mainland come in to the country from south america directly to Miami). Flowers would come in at the crack of dawn, and be loaded on to refrigerated trucks to wholesalers across north america by noon. It was the perfect work/school balance for me. But yes, beach house living sure would have helped with the stress!! :)

  • April 30, 2013 at 10:54 am

    Wow Pomai I got flashbacks reading this article! I grew up when there was still the manapua man walking around with his two tin drums on a stick upon his shoulders yelling “Manapua Pepeua”. My grandmother had a few beach houses on old Ewa Beach Road and we use to go there every week to pick “Ogo”. Those were the days when there “choke ogo” up and down the beach. Grandma,Aunty and everyone would pick ogo and put it the empty Loves red and white bread bag..lol!. Silva store was pretty close to the houses and I would walk looking for empty glass soda bottles on the way to turn in for extra $$..More Candy and Ice Cream!!
    The old Coke machine filled with the chocolate milk bottles was right by the front door. I always looked forward visiting Silva Store for goodies…Oh yeah Barney’s Too for the cheeseburger and greasy tacos!!

    Thanks for the review Pomai!

  • April 30, 2013 at 3:09 pm

    Great Article! I usually don’t go out to the Ewa side, but if I do I definitely gotta stop here because I absolutely love pumpkin crunch. Do you know if they sell it all the time? This place kind of reminds me of Sam’s store in Laie (Connected to Hukilau cafe).

    Also, I loved your reaction to Ewa Pantry, because that was my exact reaction a few years ago when I first walked into those doors. They definitely know how to use every inch of space in that store.

  • May 1, 2013 at 9:09 am

    @ Laura – Me neither, until recently for rare, but necessary work-related visits in the area. According to Ivy, yes, her Pumpkin Crunch is pretty much a regular item, however certainly call before driving out there if you live far away.

    I’ll definitely keep an eye out for Sam’s store in Laie on my next drive around the island. Gives me a good “excuse” to break in the new FJ Cruiser with a circle island drive, which I have yet to do! In fact, I plan on blogging every mom ‘n pop general store along the way, which will be aptly titled “Oahu’s North Shore Mom ‘n Pops”.

    Speaking of which, news recently broke that Aoki’s Shave Ice in Haleiwa isn’t going to close doors as it was first announced, but will instead move to a location across the street where the Aoki family also operates a gift shop.

    @ Brian – huge mahalo for taking the time from Yelp to drop by here and share your story! Yeah, I heard the beach along Ewa Beach used to have choke ogo, but it all got wiped out. Kinda’ sad, actually. No concept of conservation whatsoever. Just take what you need, not EVERYTHING. I’m guessing you’re too young to remember Sloop John B’s in Ewa Beach, which was located in the same shopping center where Barney’s was (currently Shiro’s Saimin and Longs Drugs). As you may know, Barney was one of the Arakawa sons.

    @ pat – yes, sir.

  • May 7, 2013 at 1:30 am

    Thank you. I haven’t been home in over 15 years and this helped me to feel like I never left Ewa Beach. I could almost smell the salt air and plumeria. Thank you, again (as I wipe away tears).

  • May 7, 2013 at 2:51 pm

    Ivy and Dwayne are great people and their character is reflected in this wonderful community treasure! :-))

  • May 8, 2013 at 5:45 am

    @ Jessica – You’re welcome. I’m very happy to have been able to document Silva’s store while they’re still around. Can’t wait to do my circle island tour and do more mom ‘n pop stores around the island!

    @ Dennis – Great people indeed. The kinda’ folks you feel like you knew them your entire life… and the younger folks who live around there probably have!

  • May 12, 2013 at 1:21 pm

    In the late 1960s, for my paper route down Ewa Beach Road, I folded my papers outside the front door of Silva’s Store, loaded them up into the canvas bag that hooked onto the handle bar grips on my red Schwinn one speed and headed off in the Diamond Head direction, often with dogs nipping at my heels. Had to make more than one trip with the Sunday paper. All the paper boys collected the monthly rate with a book with two big metal rings for a binding at the top, and inside the book was a page for each customer. When they paid (which was not always on time), there was a little ticket, like a raffle ticket, to tear off and hand to them as a receipt.

    • June 12, 2013 at 4:44 am

      I lived in Ewa Beach for many years. Silva Store was a Staple in our lives then. You could Always count on Silva Store for last minute stuff or to be open as we had limited grocery stores in Ewa Beach and they didnt stay open like Silvas did, especially holidays. Many good memories and always bumping into someone I knew to talk story. Never realized how clean and tidy Silvas was until I lived here in Washington. I Miss That! 8-)

      P.S. First new Webpage to Post on and not jump hoops with password, etc! <3

    • June 16, 2015 at 9:01 pm


      We lived in Ewa Beach just a little before you… 1963 – 1968. My brother had

      the same paper route along Ewa Beach Road. My sister and I got up early to

      fold and rubber band the papers. I remember the exact same rate book. And how

      my brother would complain about slow payment. We lived on Nalomeli Place.  I just got back

      back 06/10/2015 from visiting and it’s now been almost 50 years since I’ve been there.

      Remarkable how it is still the same!!  So I am another of those that Dwayne

      was kind enough to share memories with. I wonder if you are the person who

      took over the route from my brother — Don Morrell.


  • August 5, 2013 at 11:22 pm

    Hmm it looks like your website ate my first comment (it was extremely long) so
    I guess I’ll just sum it up what I had written and say, I’m thoroughly enjoying your blog.
    I as well am an aspiring blog blogger but I’m still new to everything. Do you have any points for first-time blog writers? I’d really
    appreciate it.

    • September 23, 2013 at 6:10 pm


      Sorry for the late reply, as I just noticed your question. Glad you enjoy the blog.

      As for giving points to a first-time blog writer, here’s the formula I use as a food blogger:

      • Be yourself, be honest and be REAL. A blog isn’t a newspaper column, it’s a personal journal, sort of like a diary with a theme to it. Your blog should reflect your personality, just as if you were having a conversation with someone in person. The way I write on my blog is pretty much how I am in person: playful and fun, yet technical and articulate when I need to be.
      • Take GREAT photos. If your current camera phone takes inferior photos, do not use it! Use a dedicated point & shoot or prosumer camera (I’m currently using a Canon PowerShot S100, highly acclaimed as the best point & shoot on the market today). Everyone wants to see pictures FIRST. I’m that way, as it says a thousand words without causing “brain damage” lol. Once you’ve captured the interest of the reader by your photos, then they’ll be interested to know more about what they’re looking at through what you’ve written.
      • Have good grammar and spelling. Nothing’s more frustrating than a blogger who sounds illiterate. You don’t have to be an English scholar, but at least know the basics in how to formulate sentences and paragraphs properly. Spell check can help your spelling, however your education will dictate your overall grammar.
      • Interact with your readers comments. Make every reader feel valued, because they are! A great blog is highly active with interaction amongst both the readers and the author, and amongst the readers themselves. As for moderating comments, knock on wood, I’ve been so far VERY fortunate my readers for the most part have been very cordial and respectful, not starting “flame wars”. *Knocks on wood again!* Depending on your subject matter, you may need to set-up yiour comments up for moderation. Just make sure to interact with your readers!

      I can’t say enough great things about WordPress. It’s evolved greatly over the years, and is by far the best blogging software out there right now. In fact, like many other webmasters are doing nowadays, I’ve built a website for two restaurants using the WordPress platform, and it worked out like a charm!

      The advantages of a blog over, say Facebook, is, you have TOTAL CONTROL over your content, including being able to host your own revenue-generating ads that help to “keep the lights on” if you will. Also, Google “bots” will search your WordPress blog, unlike Facebook, where privacy issues block Google “bots” from showing specific posts and photos, etc. (there’s some workarounds however). So say you posted something back in 2013 (today), and it’s 2020, and someone’s searching for that amazing Chrysler Hemi engine you built from scratch. If you posted that on your wall on Facebook, it will NEVER be found on Google. Whereas, on your own privately-hosted WordPress blog, it will be found IMMEDIATELY on Google, especially if it’s been hosted online for a long time.

      Speaking of which, LINKS! A well-networked webpage gets high priority by search engines. Link to relevant websites and your page will rank high on the search engines FAST. For instance, my recent post on the Tanaka Saimin Burger. Because I have links to relevant external pages (Yelp and KHON2 news), within 1 hour, that post had already become the TOP, first listing on Google when querying “Tanaka Saimin Burger”.

      I have a few more suggestions, but I’ll leave you with that food for thought for now. Hope that helps, and all the best on your new blog! Let us know the URL when you set it up. I’d love to check it out!


  • December 24, 2013 at 2:39 pm

    I recall during my youth old man Silva smoking his cigar behind the counter…I’d go in to buy sweets or a soda…he’d ring me up all the while blowing that dang cigar smoke in my face.

  • April 9, 2014 at 12:21 pm

    I owned the house exactly across the street in front of Silva’s store from 2003 to 2007 before selling the home. I liked Ivy Pantastico and would often say Hi to her as she sweeps in front of the store every morning. It was a big convenience to walk over and buy soft drinks and odds and ends without having to drive out to get them. The only thing I did not like since I lived across the street are the few customers that would park in front and block my private drive way. Three times my mailbox was knocked down from cars trying to park. A bigger issue was a few customers that would drink, get drunk and loud and throw their empty bottles and cans around and into the street and my yard. One day someone threw a empty liquor bottle at my upstairs bedroom window shattering the window glass. After that I put up a white 6 foot high sliding vinyl gate fence to better secure the property and that helped solve these issues to some extent. I sold the property in 2007.

  • June 22, 2014 at 7:39 am

    I lived in Ewa Beach as a little girl back in 1969-1975. Does anyone remember a bowling ally there? My parents were die hard bowlers and belonged to several leagues. It had a child care center…where I spent all of MY time. I went to Messiah Lutheran Pre-school and we lived across Ft. Weaver road in a subdivision no longer there. Backed up to sugar cane fields ( also no longer there) and my dad worked at WHEELS. Does ANYONE remember any of this? I am returning to Oahu in a week with my family for the first time since leaving in July 1975. ALso, favorite restaraunt was Sloop John B’s – also gone. Anyone help me out?

    • June 22, 2014 at 9:01 am


      A coworker of mine now in his 60’s grew up in and still lives in Ewa Beach since he was just 5. He’s an incredible source of knowledge on all things about Ewa Beach, including where I got most of the information I provided on Silva’s and the area in this post. I’ll pass on the questions you commented here to him and get back to you tomorrow on it.

      I have Sloop John B’s listed in the Oahu Eateries Memorialized post that goes like this:

      Sloop John B’s – site of the Ewa Beach Shopping Center, Ewa Beach / named after the Beach Boys song; BBQ ribs, fish ‘n chips, beer; lacquered burnt plywood wall panels created a nautical theme / currently Ewa Beach Shopping Center (about where Radio Shack is)

      Other bygone Ewa Beach eateries listed there include:

      Barney’s Burger House – site of the current Ewa Beach Shopping Center, Ewa Beach / opened by Barney Arakawa, son of the founders of Arakawa’s in Waipahu; there were actually 3 Barney’s locations on Oahu; Barney also had lunchwagons; before Barney’s in Ewa Beach, it was Tropics Drive-In; specialties included Barney’s “Smashed Cow”

      Casa Mia’s – Ewa Beach / awesome spaghetti & meatballs (size of a baseball!), massive pizzas served on TV trays

      Jimmy Ha’s – Ewa Beach Rd, Ewa Beach / general mom ‘n pop plantation store; the owner slept in the store / currently a subdivision

      Kaneko’s – Makule Rd, Ewa Beach (near the triangle) / saimin / currently

      Tanaka’s – Makule & Fort Weaver Rd, Ewa Beach / 50′s to early 60′s / currently 7-Eleven

      Taste of Puerto Rico – Old Fort Weaver Road, Ewa Beach / traditional Puerto Rican cuisine / (this place was around in more recent times in 2008)

      Tastee Freeze – Ewa Beach (by the Chop Suey place ) & Aina Haina / features / currently

      Tropical Drive Inn – site of the current Ewa Beach Shopping Center / features / replaced by Barney’s Burger, currently Shiro’s

      You might also be interesting to know there’s a new Laulani Village Shopping Center in Ewa Beach, with anchor tenants including Safeway, Ross, Petco, and a local hardware store (similar to, but not as large as Home Depot) called City Mill. Laulani Village Shopping Center is located on Fort Weaver Road and Keaunui Drive.

    • June 24, 2014 at 6:19 am


      I showed the “Ancient Ewa Beach Historian” coworker of mine your inquiries, and he had the following answers:

      The Ewa Beach bowling alley was originally conjoined with McDonald’s, and existed from around 1965 to 1980. McDonald’s then closed that restaurant and built a brand new building and restaurant next door. The bowling alley then went out of business (as many others have around Oahu), and that lot where the bowling alley building was is now Public Storage (a commercial storage warehouse business).

      Messiah Lutheran Church is still there, however not sure if that’s where you went for preschool at the time.

      What I wrote previously about Sloop John B’s is (mostly) from him:

      Sloop John B’s – site of the Ewa Beach Shopping Center, Ewa Beach / in business from about 1969 to 1980; named after the Beach Boys song; BBQ ribs, fish ‘n chips, beer; lacquered burnt plywood wall panels created a nautical theme / currently Ewa Beach Shopping Center (about where Radio Shack is)

      He couldn’t recall anything about a WHEELS in Ewa Beach. What kind of business was it? Auto dealership? Tire service?

      • June 24, 2014 at 1:56 pm

        Thank you so very much for sharing my questions with your “Ancient Ewa Beach Historian”- that is so very kind of you, and of him to clarify the McDonalds/ Bowling Alley memory!! Im glad to know that my memory served me correctly. I did attend Messiah Christian Preschool which used to be held at the Messiah Lutheran Church. Now, it is called something different and run by a different company not affiliated with the church. I spoke with the current pastor there that mentioned they cut down the huge Banyan tree that used to be in front, just so passerby traffic could locate the church. I understand now their congregation is quite small. On a very happy note, I learned that our beloved house is still there and where the sugar cane field once was, is now the Hawaiian Prince Golf Club. I was told 27 years ago that it had been plowed over. I cannot tell you how happy it was to see it still there on Google Maps! ( a little old, but still there!) I remember your earlier post about Sloop John B’s and I truly wish I could go back in time to re-visit it. Im glad to know where it was, just to place everything. WHEEL’s was a car dealership, and they had one lot in Waipahu and one in Honolulu. My Dad worked there after he got out of the Navy- even did commercials for them.( My Mom graduated Waipahu High School in ’67, and my Dad worked at Kunia Facility, where they met. ) My brother attended Ewa Beach Elementary and when we moved to Honolulu we attended Salt Lake Elementary for one year.
        Thank you again for taking the time to answer these questions and verifying my memories. I know when I return this next weekend after 39 years, it will be like coming home. Living in Hawaii the first 5 impressionable years of my life have stayed with me. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.

        • February 28, 2015 at 8:43 am

          Oh my goodness,this article has brought back a wealth of memories for me.I was born in Honolulu, and lived in Ewa Beach from 1958 to July 7,1972.I went to Ewa Beach Elementary,Pohakea Elementary and James Campbell High School,which I left when I was 16.I lived across from Campbell High School and rememba being a frequent customer of Tanaka Store and Barney’s Burger House.Used to buy Botan  rice candy(5¢),dried squid(10¢),dried cuttlefish (10¢) and Li Hing Mui by Tick Lung( ‘memba da yellow label) (10¢ fo small,25¢ fo large).I rememba going to an adjacent wooded area,where we used to get some kiawe wood fo smoke meat in our Hibachi pot.I think they were building a subdivision


          • February 28, 2015 at 9:07 am

            I am sorry,my screen froze for a minute and this mobile device would not let me scroll back to where I left off.Any way,I think a new housing tract was being built around that time;I think our neighbors,the Gouveia’s moved there.My brother and I used to ride our bikes down Ewa Beach Rd.,all the way to the end where my friend Kuulei was living.Past that was a dirt road leading to a lush secluded beach. Or we would travel all the way down Ft.Weaver Rd.,just outside Iroquois military housing and go play at Ewa Beach Park.I Googled® the park last year and was shocked to say the hill of sand which greeted you when walked towards the water is NO LONGER THERE! I also heard that the cost of electricity is the highest in the U.S. and that the sugarcane fields past Leeward Estates(rememba that?) is all gone.Auwe! What has happened in the years away from my home? I am planning to come check things out this summer,but after 43 years,I don’t know what I would find or where is the best place to stay.I guess I will find something though;as I am looking for a clean but hopefully not TOO ( I know,ha ha;good luck wit dat !)expensive bungalow near da beach.

  • August 11, 2014 at 7:53 am

    Thank you, Kenny! That’s exactly what it was called! My parents were on several leagues when I was a little girl.
    My husband was a part of the RIMPAC exercise and so I was able to return this summer for the first time in 39 years. I just teared up when we went to Ewa Beach. I did recognize the strip mall, and I did see the storage facility, where the bowling alley used to be. Saw our house, saw the church, saw my elementary schools.
    The feeling I had “returning home” was a beautiful one, and all of the locals were wonderful. Such a warm welcome.

  • October 2, 2014 at 5:18 pm

    Hey, hows it. I was born in Hawaii.

    I grew up mostly in Ewa until we

    Moved to the mainland. A lady

    Whom I called grandma her name

    Is Fran Pantastico, I spent many

    Times there and comming across this

    Memories. Thank you



  • October 11, 2014 at 12:31 pm

    Mahalo for this blog about Silva’s. We just returned from our week long stay in Ewa Beach about a block away from Silva’s.  When I first stopped by, I referenced this blog when asking for the Pumpkin Crunch on a Saturday.  They were out!  I spoke at length with Ivy, who assured be that there would be more by Monday.  We went back several times on Monday when the store the daughter was there, telling us to come back – 3 times.  On the fourth trip over in late afternoon, there were two portions, so I bought both.  My wife and our kids all loved it, so we went back the next day and day after and bought more.  Ivy is a wonderful lady with whom we had the pleasure of speaking to on a couple of times.  Highly recommend stopping by, if only to say hello and pick up a piece of Pumpkin Crunch.  Tell Ivy that Robert & Jami from San Diego say, “hello!”  Thanks for publishing this blog and making us aware of this little gem of a store and the now infamous Crunch!  Oh yeah, the chilly is all that too!

    Aloha from Encinitas, CA

  • December 10, 2014 at 9:23 am


    I am trying to find a source of Hawaiian Isle Seasonings Original salt

    that will ship to the mainland (bulk) for a reasonable price. I have ordered directly

    from a grocery in the past, but now cannot recall the name or find them online.

    Any suggestions?

    Many thanks!

    • December 10, 2014 at 9:29 am

      Aloha Beth,

      Is this the one?…

      Hawaiian Isle Seasonings


      Salt, Garlic, Ginger, Pepper, Garlic Salt (Salt, Dehydrated Garlic, and less than 2% Silicon Dioxide).

      Manufacturer Info

      Hawaiian Isle Seasonings

      P.O. Box 240534 Honolulu, HI 96824


  • December 16, 2014 at 10:14 am

    Oh my God, this article had brought back so many childhood memories for me. I lived in Ewa Beach as a kid in the mid 70’s when my dad was stationed at NAS Barbers Point. I remember frequenting Tanaka’s and buying candy and manapua on my way to Ilima Intermediate School. I now live in Florida where I am originally from but have fond memories of what you referred to Ewa beach as the Sugar cane plantation community. I am glad I came across your article..

    Thank you,

    David Bukowski

    • December 18, 2014 at 5:53 am

      Aloha David,

      If it’s been since the 1970s that you’ve been to Ewa Beach, you will be SHOCKED how much that community has changed, especially over the last two decades. Today it’s totally gentrified and growing at an insane pace with suburban development and a brand new modern shopping center. Many military folks end up buying homes there.

      • February 28, 2015 at 9:39 am

        Hi Pomai,

        My name is Michele and hopefully you were able to see my reply to Carole” on February 28.2015.Can you please elaborate a bit more on how Ewa Beach has changed? You said it is gentrified,his gentrified is it? What are the rents like? Any condos or bungalows near the beach to rent on a 2 week to monthly basis?Any nursing jobs/facilities there? We used to shop at Arakawa’s( my mom and dad loved that store ) and Gem’s in Waipahu also.I rememba a shirt bridge we used to cross and my dad would pull over,because of the “wood roses” there that ‘housed’ in it’s pods,”Jobs Tears” and then go downtown to the park( can’t’ rememba da name) and shake da Wili Wili tree for those red seeds to make Hawaiian kine jewelry.Rememba da humungous 100 year old Banyan tree in downtown Honolulu and Kaaawa Beach before it got washed out by beeg storm,and when Waikiki Beach ONLY had da Outrigger,Aloha,Ilikai( right across from Kaiser Permanent Hospital),Hilton and a couple of other hotels on it’s wide expanse of beach that was 2 miles? Man,I missed dos dayz,I really do.

        • February 28, 2015 at 10:08 am

          Aloha Michele,

          I did read your reply to Carile. BTW, the Li HIng Mui was Yick Lung, not “Tick Yung”, whom no longer sells “crack seed”, however, they do still make NIbb-Its and Taco Tubes and Shrimp Chips.

          All I can say is Ewa Beach today is not the same “plantation era” Ewa Beach it sounds like you enjoyed back throughout 1958 to ’72 when you lived there. It’s so much different today… at least going from what I’ve been told by my old timer Ewa Beach resident who gave me most of the information for this post.

          What I mean by “Gentrified” is, a majority of what was sugarcane fields in Ewa Beach are now newly developed subdivisions of pretty much cookie-cutter homes that all look the same. Either “Zero-lot”, town homes and detached, single-family homes. Very nicely done, I might add, with beautiful landscaping. Thankfully there are currently no highrises in Ewa Beach, and I hope there never will be! From the very few times I had to visit Ewa Beach recently for work-related purposes (stress that!), I really, really liked it there. The only problem with Ewa Beach isn’t Ewa Beach itself, but the DANG FREEWAY, which if you ever read about Oahu’s problems, TRAFFIC is up there at the very top! If you live in Ewa Beach and have work in town (honolulu), fuggetabouttit!!! You’ll spend half your life crawling in traffic in your car. Thanks, but no thanks. If you’re retired or work nearby Ewa, than by all means, I think Ewa is a fantastic place to live! Very quiet. People are cool. Lots of new places coming up to shop and eat at. Check out Google Maps “Streetview” and take a virtual tour of Ewa Beach.That might help you, too.

          As for real estate, Ewa Beach is still considered one of the lowest priced on Oahu, alongside the west coast up from Nanakuli to Makaha. My best suggestion (common sense) is to find a reliable real estate website for the most current sales activity.

          Michele, what more do you remember about Barney’s Burgers and Tanaka Store? My resource had limited memory of those places. Maybe you remember more. Specifics such as your favorite Barney’s Burger menu item, the decor, etc. Tanaka store.. what else do you remember about that place? Similar to Silva Store? Did you ever meet Mr. (or Mrs.) Tanaka? What kind of merchandise did Tanaka Store carry?

        • March 4, 2015 at 9:05 am

          Hi Michele,

          I know what you mean about how you say you “miss do dayz” as I do too, I came across this site by googling Ewa Beach just to see what I could find. I lived in Ewa Beach in the mid 70’s and have a lot of fond memories but soon found that what I remember and what it is now is definitely two different things. i would love to one day be able to go back and see for myself just how much it has changed. I used to live on Pa Aloha St. and attended Ewa Beach Elementary school and then Ilima Intermediate School. One thing I remember was as a kid for a quarter I could ride the city bus line all over the island and would go to the Pearl Ridge Mall and shop at a store called Diei ( not sure on the spelling). Do you remember the old trucks that would come around during lunch time selling Manapua and fried noodles for about 75 cents? Lol!! Like you said, I miss dos dayz!! Lol!!

  • January 10, 2015 at 12:58 pm

    I lived just down the road from Silva’s Store for many years ,, Grad from Campbell in ’71 ,, Starlite Lanes Bowling in youth traveling league ,, Casa Mia had the best home made pizza and meatballs around ,, The Beach was the back yard ,, The Gionson ‘s lived right across the street ,, Best Years for sure ,,

  • March 10, 2015 at 9:32 am

    Hi All! My name is Mark Wong and I too lived their  from 1960 till graduating in 1977 from Campbell High School. I do remember Tanaka, Chevron Service Station, Barneys, and the BAKER! All too good. I come to hawaii once a year and YES all has changed, except the feel and the memories.

    • May 5, 2015 at 7:18 am

      Ooooooooo…..Barney’s!!  My mom used to work there in the mid to late 60’s.  What a great hamburger joint that was.  I suppose it’s gone too?

      • May 5, 2015 at 7:53 am


        As noted in another comment:

        Barney’s Burger House – site of the current Ewa Beach Shopping Center, Ewa Beach (Longs Drugs, Shiro’s Saimin, Radio Shack, etc.) / opened by Barney Arakawa, son of the founders of Arakawa’s in Waipahu; there were actually 3 Barney’s locations on Oahu; Barney also had lunchwagons; before Barney’s in Ewa Beach, it was Tropics Drive-In; specialties included Barney’s “Smashed Cow”

  • March 11, 2015 at 9:08 am

    Awesome Ewa Beach stories, folks! Keep ’em coming! :-)

    Note, a brand new, pretty massive McDonald’s recently opened in the still-new Laulani Village Shopping Center, complete with a children’s jungle gym play area. That now makes two McDonald’s in Ewa Beach.


  • May 4, 2015 at 7:43 am

    I can’t describe how much I love this post.  Even though I don’t remember Silva’s I lived on Ewa Beach Road from 1964-68 and we used to walk to Pohakea School.  Everyday, I stopped it Jimmy Ha’s store on Ewa Beach Road.  All of us young kids (I was 8,9, and 10 years old at the time) thought Jimmy Ha was some kind of demon and his store was so spooky with all the cob webs.  I always wondered what happened to his store.  Does anyone of the address of where his store used to be?

    • May 4, 2015 at 8:55 am

      Aloha Darell,

      This morning I asked my resource who originally told me all the Ewa Beach stories I wrote about in this post, and he showed me EXACTLY where Jimmy Ha’s Store was located on Ewa Beach Road. Here’s the Google Maps Streetview location:

      And here’s the satellite view:

      If you look closely at the streetview (click on image to enlarge it), you’ll see Jimmy Ha’s Store was located on a property that now has a newer home. I can’t see the exact street address, however you can see it’s was to the left of a public right of way trail to the beach numbered 186 F on Ewa Beach Road. So Jimmy Ha’s store was about a quarter of a mile east (Diamond Head) of Silva’s Store.

      He also told me that yes, Jimmy Ha was known by the neighborhood kids to be pretty “mean”, not liking when kids came in. He said Jimmy Ha used to sell crack seed in big glass jars, which when you bought some, he’d fish it out of the jars with his bare hands. Yikes! He’d also often be found sleeping in his chair behind the cash counter.

      • May 5, 2015 at 7:16 am

        Yes, I remember well that Jimmy Ha would usually be sitting on a stool and sleeping behind the counter.  He also had a lot of hair growing out of his ears.  I think he didn’t like the children because they always woke him up and then spent a lot of time trying to pick out just the right candy to take to school.  My mom wouldn’t let us buy his Li Hing Mui because he always touched it.  She would only allow us to buy packaged candy.  By the way, do you know why the roads have a two part address, such as 91-375?  Do the different parts of the address have a special meaning?  I’m trying to find the address where we lived on Ewa Beach Road and I know that it was east of Jimmy Ha’s and next to a house that was built like a Quonset hut.  I believe the beach path next to Jimmy Ha’s former location has always been there because I seem to recall it from when we lived there.  Thanks for the memories.

        • May 5, 2015 at 8:17 am


          I spoke again with my “Ancient resource of all things Ewa Beach” this morning, and he said there were a bunch of Quonset hut homes in Ewa Beach back when he was a kid, including on Ewa Beach Road, which was a result of government construction in the islands during World II and after it.

          He grew up living near Ewa Beach Road, right behind on Fort Weaver Road during the 1950s to 1960s. He mentioned some names of families he knew well on Ewa Beach Road, that perhaps you may remember when you lived there, including the Pedro (Mr. Pedro was a known fisherman in the area), Anderson, Pratt, Vierra, Sadowski, Pruce, Kuwalapai, Vierra, Cuewa, Parrera and Ferrara ohana. Those were all kids he hung out with “back in the day” on Ewa Beach Road. He wondered if you also remember chasing the DDT Truck?

  • May 5, 2015 at 9:13 am

    Are you kidding??  The DDT truck was a big highlight for us – the insecticide fog reminded us of the Outer Limits or the fog that the Ventures were using around that time.  All the kids would run after the truck like it was an ice cream truck or something.  I actually loved the smell of DDT in the evening.  I had actually forgotten that we used to run after the truck and I hadn’t thought about the smell in a long time.  I don’t remember any of the names listed, but the following are names of neighbors at the time:  Sprouse, Box, Quick.  I believe David Quick’s dad worked at the tsunami warning center and I remember well spending nights in the shopping center parking lot only to learn that the tsunamis were usually about 6 inches high when they reached shore.  The other thing we used to love to do on Ewa Beach Road is walk down the street on New Year’s Day and pick up all the dud firecrackers.  We would then collect all the gunpowder from those “duds” and light it up for a New Year’s treat.

  • May 7, 2015 at 4:22 pm

    Born and raised in Ewa Beach on Ewa Beach Road, infact my mother still lives in the same house I grew up in.  Reading these stories brought back lots of happy memories of the 1950s.  Remember there were no schools in Ewa Beach, all the kids were bussed to Ewa Elem School and Waipahu HS.  In fact, we had no city bus service into Ewa Beach, we had to catch the bus in Ewa (Oka Garage on Ft Weaver Road) into town and return the same way.  It cost a dime for the phone booth to call my dad to come pick us up. We use to save the dime and go into the service station and ask to use the phone…sometimes we got a dirty look, but they always let us call. We all worked at the cannery during the summers and got paid $1.60 an hour. Remember the train track that separated Ewa and Ewa Beach, it is still there.  In my life time, which is 60 plus years, I only recall seeing a train on the tracks one time.  My dad had to stop to let the train pass, don’t remember seeing any train warning signs.  I remember when there was no shopping center, no Leeward Estates or the sub divisions down on Papipi Road.  Ewa Beach was surounded by endless miles of sugar cane and kiawi trees.  Oh, remember Christmas time when Santa and his sleigh with Rudolph would come down the road and throw us kids candy!  Recalling the neighbors boys playing in front of our house “sky inny” with the baseball and bat, while we played jacks or hop scotch on our sidewalk.  I almost forgot to add my Silva Store stories.  When I was about seven or so, I had a kidney problem that required me to have no salt in my diet.  My parents arranged with Mr Silva and Loves Bakery to delivery a loaf of unsalted bread once a week.  How about that!  Another story is, remember Frank Silva use to have his nice fluffy white dog that hung around the store.  Well, one day my sister was playing around with my brother walking to the store.  My brother dared her to walk backwards until they got there.  The dog was sitting outside and then my sister accidently stepped on his foot, so she was bitten on her butt.  She was taken to Ewa Hospital for a tetanus shot.  The Silva’s paid the medical bills incurred and Frank’s dog was gone from the store!  Such innocent times!  Happy memories!

    • May 8, 2015 at 7:48 am


      “Sky Inny” is actually called “Sky Inning”, meaning you keep batting the ball yourself until someone either catches it in the air, or rolls the ball downhill to your bat, and when the ball bounces off the bat, you miss catching it. Hence, that would turn over the ball to the next (opponent) player, hence the next inning in baseball vernacular. We used to play Sky Inning all the time!

      As I mentioned to Darrell Fox, did you also chase the DDT mosquito truck down Ewa Beach Road? Never had that in the neighborhood I grew up in, that’s for sure!

      • May 10, 2015 at 3:45 pm

        Yes, loved the DDT truck monthly visits down Ewa Beach Road.  Who would known that the spray was toxic!  :D. I remember how some of the neighborhood kids would follow the truck on their bikes all the way around the block.   A lot of the old families from back then still live there!


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