Friday 5 – Old Ala Moana Center Stores


If you could magically bring back any 5 stores from the old Ala Moana Center, which ones would you bring back?  You can list 5 eateries separately because we all love to eat.  And no shame make a second or third list of 5 stores/eateries.

Need help remembering the stores?  Here’s a list from 1979:

My 5 stores:

  • Shirokiya – Because I love all the Japanese stuff and especially the electronics.
  • Iidas – Again, all the imported products from Japan.
  • Sato Clothiers – I’m still trying to find pants with a 28″ inseam!
  • Sears – The electronics, the tools, the aroma of freshly popped popcorn and rubber tires.
  • Liberty House – Yeah, I know there’s Macy’s – but not the same.


My 5 eateries:

  • Lyn’s Delicatessen – Pastrami sandwich
  • Patti’s Chinese Kitchen – More for the nostalgia
  • Farrell’s Ice Cream Parlor – For when I could eat a lot of ice cream
  • Sears Coffee Shop – Can’t go wrong at a coffee shop
  • La Ronde – Just so I’d have a chance to eat there


Okay, those are my first lists. What’s yours?



61 Responses to “Friday 5 – Old Ala Moana Center Stores”

  1. Craig A says:

    You guys making me tear up. How I miss the old shopping center and all the things we did there.

    1 – Sears
    2 – JCPenny….and Hickory Farms upstairs
    3 – Shirokiya
    4 – Kramers
    5 – Pocketbook Man / Sam Goody’s / India Imports
    Sorry, 5 is too little!

    1 – Farrell’s
    2 – Patti’s Chinese Kitchen
    3 – Liberty House restaurants (all of em)
    4 – Lynn’s Deli
    5 – Sears Coffee Shop

  2. Harvey Lau says:

    Coral Reef Wonton Mein, Roy Rogers (boy’s Shirley Temple)
    Woolworth Fried Chicken
    Sears Popcorn
    Lynn’s Pastrami Sandwich
    Crackseed Center
    Pete’s Hobby Store
    Patti’s China Feed

  3. Yv says:

    Fav stores –
    The candle shoppe (bayberry) including the jars of stick candy
    Iidas – paper wallets, trying not to trip and break anything
    India Imports (buffalo sandals, bedspreads, and brass bells)
    Musashiya (fabrics)
    Honolulu Bookstore
    (More recently–Crabtree and Evelyn )

    Patty’s (Princess Plate)
    Lynn’s (hot pastrami on rye with a pickle but $$$$)
    Woolworths (hot roastbeef sandwhich with gravy and mashed potatoes)
    Crackseed Center
    La Rhonde

  4. Linda A Smith-Gregory says:

    What was the name of the T-shirt place?

  5. sameguydifferentchannel says:

    HOPACO was my go-to place for college school supplies and office supplies, since Fisher was too far away in Mapunapuna (and no Office Depot or Office Max yet). They really had everything I needed there…like Liquid Paper, Ko Rec Type, drafting supplies, etc. They were always well stocked for holidays, any holidays.

    • Rodney says:

      Remember HOPACO at Ala Moana? You could enter the store from the mall level by Sato Clothiers and go down the stairs and come out on the street level next to India Imports. Shortcut! lol

  6. Newman says:

    I think Hackfield’s opened in the late 70s of earliest 80s. It was part of Liberty House’s revamp to create a men’s floor where guys were supposed to feel comfortable. While the food wasn’t especially good at Hackfeld’s, it was a cool place to hang out feeling kind of urban and fancy. Usually, you wouldn’t see anyone in shorts and slippers there.

    Wasn’t there a restaurant called Miyako there in the 70s as well. I think it was between the current food court and the smaller makai side ABC?

  7. sameguydifferentchannel says:

    A place I miss is Guava Lane. A hodgepodge of retailers from Hermes and Harrod’s to The Hobby Company. Jewelry items to Starter baseball jackets to all kinds of miscellaneous items, it was a cool place, but just a temporary filler between McInerny and extensive renovation. It ended all too soon.

  8. sameguydifferentchannel says:

    Yes! THANKS 4G and Rodney!

  9. sameguydifferentchannel says:


  10. HbH says:

    I was just thinking of Ed & Don’s ice cream. I always loved their cherry ice cream. The other day I was speaking to another person from da 808 while waiting for my plate lunch I ordered. We talked about how in the area of the mainland we lived now, there is no good teribeef burgers or sandwiches like Orange Julious used to make. Even decent Manapua is hard to find here unlike Patti’s chinese kitchen used to have. I used to love their Char Su too. More and more I am learning to savour the memories and experience of my time being raised in Hawaii and its uniqueness. All to often I believe some take this stuff for grantted. You never know what you got til you move to the mainland when you love Hawaii.

  11. sameguydifferentchannel says:

    @4G: Okay, I going chance ‘um. Hopefully once this initial post clears moderation…I’ll be back in!

  12. KC fan says:

    House of Music. Great place to get sheet music of current rock/r/b top 40 songs. Think there was a bookstore/magazine shop next door but not positive that about.

  13. Kage says:

    Not that I ever shopped there, but I do remember the commercials.

    Security Diamond and Conrad Jewelers.

  14. 1oldfut says:

    OMG “Morning Breeze”, haven’t heard that name in forever. Kinda went hand in hand with plastic doggie poo.
    Bought chocolate flavored rolling papers from India Imports(?) not knowing what they were REALLY for. Got a strange look from the clerk. Tasted weird.

  15. mows says:

    Fishmonger’s Wife – went there a lot when dating in the 80’s.

  16. 4G says:

    Trying again – LOL


    I dunno, man. I’m assuming you still having problems.

    Maybe just try coming in as a new user – I would think at least a different email address. I don’t know about handle – if you can use the same one or not – maybe @Rod could chime in.

    Even if you change your handle, just let us know when you come back in and we’ll know, you know? 😉

  17. 4G says:


    Random Thoughts on a Grey Day

    Loving this overcast, murky weather. Could be a little cooler, but I’ll take it! 😉

    Seems to me that important stuff in life is lived in the grey. Humans love and would much prefer to live in the black and white (I, too, wish life could be as simple as black and white – but it’s not).

    Good/Bad, Right/Wrong are mere human constructs.

    While the volume of things might be considered by most to be in the black and white (but, they may not necessarily agree on what is black and what is white – LOL), it seems to me that the majority of significant things are in the grey.

    Gordon Lightfoot, “Rainy Day People”:

  18. walter says:

    The stairs fronting Shirokiya behind the bird cage lead up to Hanabishi Restaurant which opened in mid 1970. It was a sister to Wako Restaurant on South King. My mom worked at both. Neither place lasted long as per my past comments. Eventually Shirokiya’s second level became their grocery/food service floor but I can’t recall the time frame. Rodney, who is the lady in the photo?

  19. walter says:

    Like Hbh said, I miss the old AMC in general when you could zip in and park and hit the mall quickly. The store’s I miss–Shirokiya ca. 1968 when they sold quality stuff that looked traditionally Japanese and the price was decent. Jean Lu toys because they had a full on display of the latest Matchbox cars. Wong’s Okazuya and their cold Hiyashi Ramen and sweet and sour shrimp tempura. They made extra and they used the leftover shrimp tempura and poured a homemade sweet and sour sauce over them and served it on the counter. Kramers because they had almost everything a guy could need as far as clothing. Pete’s Modelcraft for browsing if you were a talentless craftsperson like me. And The Continental Restaurant which was on the street level across and makai of the old center stage. It was a buffet with good prime rib. Had it once during 8th grade school shopping when my mom said let’s try this place. India Imports notwithstanding their head shop stuff had lots of other cool legit things from around the world. Sears garden shop was literally a breath of fresh air from the smoggy makai stree level if you wended your way past Hoteiya which was another neat store as was Iids’s and another Japanese ware store up from Patti’s, but I can’t remember the name.

  20. KC fan says:

    Stores: Sears. Dig Craftsman tools and popcorn.
    Keiki Land Liked riding the helicopter.
    Honsport Friend used to work there.
    Pete’s Modelcraft Kinda expensive for a kid.
    Pocketbook Man Discount cause girlfriend
    worked at Duty Free Shoppers.

    Eateries:Farrells The Zoo
    Lyns Deli. Pastrami sandwiches ono.
    Patti’s Chinese kitchen Prince and
    Princess plates.
    Garfunkles/Dunkin Donuts. Was below
    Shirokiyas. Garfunkles sold sandwiches
    (Pastrami was good, served with kosher
    pickle)Friend used to work there, used
    to try different type of donuts. Also I
    seem to recall Famous Amos cookies
    manufacturing plant and store was on
    Keeaumoku next to Anderson’s Camera
    when they moved out of Ala Moana Center.

  21. James says:

    San Francisco Rag Shop (in addition to great clothes, they always played the best music)

    Lyn’s Delicatessen
    Patti’s Chinese Kitchen
    Farrell’s (especially the store at the exit)

  22. HbH says:


    In my search to relive Hawaii of our past. I noticed alot of people share this common love. I know of four websites just on this topic. This love for the past here in Hawaii is kinda uniqe. You really don’t see websites about the love of Seattle or Kanses of the past. I was thinking this morning. Why hasn’t anyone proposed a culture or old oahu preservation act? What I mean is for every 10 redevelopments or modern developments that we would have to preserve an old oahu monument, building or location. Then places like the Pagodas of Kyoto Gardens, aloha stadium and the hundreds of locations across Oahu that are crumbling or molding due to neglect can be saved.

  23. 1oldfut says:

    Shirokiya, Sears, Eki, Iida…I’m lucky to have some nice memories of the place. I hope the next guys can say the same. Aloha…

  24. 4G says:

    House of Music

  25. HbH says:

    My 5 stores:

    Iidas: Oh that smell. Cant you smell that smell? Even in our memories.
    Sears: Popcorn, boiled peanuts, I too loved the electronics section.
    Shirokiya: Best place to buy all the Super Sentai shows
    Hotel ya: Great place for japanese toys. It also had its own incense smell and feel.
    Woolworths: Again for some reason I just loved the feel of the ground floor with its lowered celings. It also had that burnt plastic smell that I still remember.

    This ideal really hit me hard the other day. What we had back then was really special. I realised this because there are few sites that talk about the good ol days in any other place on the mainland. However, We have many for Hawaii.

  26. HbH says:

    Lets quit joking around ok. We need to just bring back Ala Moana Center period. What we have now is really a fake, imposter etc. The shops and local culture of the past really set the spirit of the mall. I was really trying to be fair, honest and not bias with a recent assessment of the ewa wing I did. Being honest, It reminded me of the Royal Hawaiian Mall. Now I hear even Pearl Ridge is not even safe against the sameness gentrification monster. Sad really, Places like the old AMC was kinda the rewards for living in a expensive place. Cheap, colorful, full of culture entertainment.

  27. Mark'75 says:


  28. Mark'75 says:

    Bella Italia
    Wong’s Okazuya
    Harvest House at Woolworth’s (fried chicken and roast beef sandwiches)
    Smitty’s Pancake House (park early for Christmas shopping and have breakfast while waiting for stores to open)
    Lyn’s Delicatessen

  29. Mark'75 says:

    Liberty House
    Pete’s Modelcraft

  30. Shoyu burner says:

    Eateries:Byron II, Vim n Vigor, Yami Yogurt, Hackfields, continental restaurant.

  31. dihudfan says:

    Shirokiya… favorite place to wait for my shopping wife, loved the electronics
    Liberty House… clothes and shoes shopping
    Sears… whenever needed anything, they had it
    Sato’s and Kramers… reasonable priced clothes

    Lynn’s… best pastrami sandwich
    Orange Julius… best terburgers
    JCPenney’s 3rd floor resturant… good hot dogs
    forget the name of the (Aloha???) Health food store… they had the best tuna sandwiches
    Sears… popcorn

  32. GARETH AU says:

    Honolulu Bookstore
    Liberty House

    Fishmonger’s Wife
    Wong’s Okazuya
    Lynn’s Delicatessen
    H Salt Fish n Chips

  33. mattS says:

    Iida’s-i miss the smell of that place when you walk in
    Honsport-rows and rows of sporting goods…perfect for a young boy
    Kramer’s-friend of mine’s family owned that. i liked the staircase
    Foodland (the old one ) bc every time my mom had to go there with me i knew that’s I’d score a pastrami sandwich from Lynn’s

  34. Blue Jade says:

    Villa Roma but I was poor so didn’t buy too often. When I was working, Ethel’s though their dressing rooms sucked (curtains were not long enough so they could always peek in), JC Penneys, Daisy Pot (always looked never could afford) and Bartley’s Town & Country, cute fashions. My mom worked for them until they final closed their final shop at University Square. Eats: Spencecliff’s Prince Kuhio, all the Lyn’s owned though I miss their pastrami with that huge pickle slice, Orange Julius the old one not the new – they made an ono burger, Woolworth’s deli and restaurant and then Shirokiya had a Japanese sit down restaurant, forget the name but I held my grad party there. Was ono food at good prices.

  35. DancingBear says:

    Ed & Don’s
    And, the place where you could buy “Morning Breeze”

    • Rodney says:

      Morning Breeze – Party Center! I couldn’t wait until I turned 18 years old so I could go into the Adults only section. lol

  36. 4G says:


    Sears – “Sears has everything”. I really don’t care for the Pearlridge location
    Party Center – can you say, “Morning Breeze”? LOL
    Shirokiya – miss the Japanese wares and electronics showroom
    Pete’s Modelcraft – because, hobby stuff . . . .

    Food Stuff

    Not really a “food place”, but the Sears popcorn stand
    Lyn’s – Pastrami sandwiches!
    There was a Jon’s, right? I recall really good burgers there
    Crack Seed Center – I really miss that cranky old lady – NOT! LOL
    China House – crazy place at lunch

    Sorry, but five is not enough. LOL

    I also miss:

    Pocketbook Man – had all kinds of interesting knick knacks and doo dads.

    Villa Roma – hear me out; for checking out their sales representatives and clientele 😉

    Kramer’s – I dunno – just because. Can you say, “Angel’s Flight”?

  37. Masako says:

    5 Restaurants
    1. Garden court – Mom and Grandma loved to eat there. What I remember the most was the dessert cart.
    2. La Rounde – Went once, would love to go again.
    3. Lynn’s – Ono sandwiches and pizza
    4. Patty’s Chinese kitchen – what they have now is not the same
    5. Farrels – celebrating Birthday’s are not the same anymore

    Five snacks
    1. Sears popcorn – Could never resist
    2. Slush Puppy from crack seed center- They would squirt the flavor into the cup than add the ice and mix it up.
    3. Ed and Dons ice cream – friends and I would go there to spock the guys working there and yes the ice cream was good.
    4. Wongs okazu ya – Cone sushi or potato tempura made a nice after school snack between bus transfers.
    5. Famous Amos cookies – was located in Sears I think. So fresh and yummy.

  38. Masako says:

    The memories are flooding in. Ala Moana was where my mother often took me as a child, was my stomping ground during my teens and employed me as a college student. After college I would go there occasionally but now I find myself going there less and less. Its too high end now for me. So here is the first of my Friday five list:

    Five stores overall
    1. Shirokiya – From childhood loved the demos, all the Japanese stuff and my favorite was that motorized candy machine that rotated different candies and you buy them by the pound. I’ve seen them in Japan a few times. I also worked there during college, it was a fun place to work.
    2. Liberty House – That store had class. Quality at reasonable prices. Great service and also a great employer. Worked there during the Christmas season and special sales, best part was the discount we got in addition to the sale price. Made designer goods affordable for a poor college student.
    3. Keiki land – was a fun place for kids and I would have loved to take my kids and future grandkids there.
    4. Otaheite – Used to love the blouses and dresses that you could get from there.
    5. Sears – Could get almost anything you need. Did giftwrapping there for a little while.
    6. A Bonus Guava Lane where the old Mc inerny was- After mc inerny closed they made the store into maybe 15 different shops. It was a fun place to walk around and window shop and there was a Gift wrapping, packing, shipping place that was run by the same people that did the Sears gift wrapping so I would work there sometimes too.

  39. Izsmom says:

    Liberty House

    Wiki wiki Coffee Shop
    Gazebo in Liberty House
    Garden Court in Liberty House
    Orange Julius

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