Many sadly said ‘aloha’ to iconic businesses shut down this year


HONOLULU (KHON2) — KHON2 has been covering the pandemic’s devastating impacts on businesses that have forced many longstanding institutions to shut down throughout 2020. Take a look at some of the iconic places that will be greatly missed and say “aloha,” as Hawaii heads into the new year.

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Many well-known establishments that are loved in Hawaii can not be visited again. The virus has not only had an impact on restaurants, but other industries as well.

These were places where memories were made and delicious food was eaten. Thursday, April 30, was Like Like Drive Inn’s last day of a 67-year legacy. Dillingham Saimin was unable to survive but hoped to someday reopen after being in operation for 64 years. Monterey Bay Canners at Pearl Ridge Center had to say goodbye to loyal customers after more than 35 years in business.

“When you see all these really iconic names that, you know, you’ve seen for the last 20-30 years, that disappear, it’s very, very sad,” said Victor Lim, of the Hawaii Restaurant Association.

The Hawaii Restaurant Association says Hawaii needs tourism to come back to help the economy.

“We cannot just rely upon the military alone. Just to do the internal economy, there is not enough consumer and dollars to go around,” said Lim.

The virus has not only impacted the local restaurant industry. Gecko Books and Comics had been serving the community for more than three decades. The owner said there were several reasons that led him to close — the second shutdown was the last straw.

The Honolulu Club also permanently closed after offering members a place to workout and network for more than 40 years. The Chamber of Commerce Hawaii is asking lawmakers to find a solution to possibly mitigate an increase on the unemployment insurance tax paid by the employers.

“They’re paying a certain level of tax. Come March, that will exponentially increase as a result of the current level of the fund balance,” said Sherry Menor-McNamara, President and CEO of the Chamber of Commerce Hawaii. “The more they close, the worse the situation is for overall fabric of our communities, as well as our economy.”

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