Business owners look ahead to weekend with excitement and apprehension


HONOLULU (KHON2) — Relief, excitement and a dose of apprehension as Oahu enters the first weekend of loosened restrictions after the second stay-at-home order.

Business owners said that they’re already seeing pent up demands from customers, and they are looking forward to better days ahead.

The business owners and the families that KHON2 spoke with said that they’ve waited patiently, and are looking forward to this weekend.

They’re also quite aware that the new rules have to be followed, or we could go right back to more restrictions.

The owner of Ohana Hale Marketplace knows how easily things can change. Retailers were forced to immediately shut down two weeks ago because they thought they were allowed to open.

“We’re just so happy that the small businesses get to open up and we get to at least make money so we can support the family,” said owner Chris Ulu.

That relief is shared by restaurant owners, who are once again allowed to have customers dine-in.

“As the reopening comes, people want to come out and eat. Mothers and daughters shopping at one of our locations out in Pearlridge. They’re like, ‘Oh, let’s go for a meal after shopping,’ which is a very common activity,” said Tom Jones, who owns three Gyotaku Restaurants, Koromo Katsu and Curry Bistro.

For families, going to beaches and parks as a small group of no more than five, is also comforting.

“A lot less screen time staying home, stuck at home. She’s home from school right now, just doing online learning. So just to get away from the house and do something different for a while will be nice,” said Kaimuki resident Christan Johnston.

But rules need to be followed, and they’re aware of what’s at stake.

“We have only a small entrance. We’ve gated off all the other entrances–five people only allowed. You can enter this way and you have to exit out a certain way,” said Aaron Forsgren, who is a vendor at Ohana Hale Marketplace.

Movie theaters have reopened allowing 50 person capacity. This time, no food or drinks will be allowed in the theaters.

“The main thing we’re asking our guests to do is that once they enter, keep their masks on throughout their entire stay. So once they enter, the masks have to remain throughout their movie-going experience,” said Consolidated Theaters marketing manager Kyler Kokubun.

Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell released a statement that said, “As we go out this weekend to see friends, or family, remember that you have the chance to protect each other from COVID-19 … This won’t be forever, but if we can stay the course now, we can continue to get back to a more normal way of life.”

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