Honolulu (KHON2) — Costco Iwilei was busier than usual on Thursday, July 27, thanks to Jason Momoa making an appearance to promote his new Meili vodka brand.
Hundreds of people waited in line, some as early as 5 a.m., for their chance to meet Momoa.
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Some tried to camp in line overnight but were told they couldn’t by Honolulu Police Department personnel and to come back “in the morning”.
The majority of people KHON2.com spoke to said they heard about his appearance at the very last minute.
“My fiancé told me this morning, and I was like, ‘No way, Let’s go!'” said Oahu resident Sheryl Buciao.
“My mom told me this morning and I was like, ‘No, no this is unbelievable!” said young fan Jayden Flores.
Some of Momoa’s biggest fans were decked out in the Hawaii-stars clothing line, So iLL, and went inside Costco to buy bottles of his new vodka, just in case it sold out.
Momoa and his business partner, Blaine Halvorson, arrived at Costco around 10:30 a.m.; and the line was already wrapped around the building.
Some people flew in from Alaska and went straight to Costco to meet the movie star but said Momoa represents more than just being a good actor.
“He’s representing the people. He represents aloha. He’s sharing it and blessing everyone around the world who cant make it to Hawaii, and we’re proud of him. I’m getting teary eyed and stuff,” said former Hawaii resident who moved to Alaska 15-years ago, Tihani Gooman.
She said she got word he was going to be at Costco Iwilei as her plane was landing in Honolulu, and she went straight to the store to meet him.
We asked what she was going to do with the signed bottles, as opposed to the unsigned bottles. She said no one will be allowed to drink the signed bottles, “Those are going to sit on the top shelf,” she said laughing. “We’re just very proud of him, local boy right here.”
People who first arrived in line around 10:30 a.m. were able to get inside to get a signed vodka bottle, but they were the last before the cutoff time around 12:30 p.m.
But for the 400 or so people who weren’t able to make it inside, Jason made a point to go outside and meet them and the entire Costco staff.
“New Zealand was amazing; and yes, we came home for a bit. We wrapped up filming on Oahu, and we wrapped on Kauai. And it was wonderful,” he said about being home after filming the last year for his Chief of War.
He said he was surprised by how many people showed up on Thursday.
“I haven’t signed that many things that fast in my life,” he said. “It was a wonderful turnout; I did not think it was going to be like this it was pretty intense.”
He said Meili vodka has been a seven-year project in the works, and he and his partner Blaine wanted to make something that tasted amazing from one of the cleanest water sources in the world.
Meili is made in Montana. “We put this together and made it affordable; so, it’s like affordable luxury. Something beautiful that tastes good. It’s amazing water, and I hope everyone likes it,” Momoa said.
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“We launched here first; so, Hawaii got it first. And next, hopefully, New Zealand; and I was just in Tahiti. And I think they’re bringing it on there; and then Cook Islands. So, all across Polynesia and it’s going to be amazing,” he added.
You can find Meili vodka at Costco for $20 per bottle.