HONOLULU (KHON2) — Monterey Bay Canners located at Pearlridge Center will not reopen.
It’s another long-time local business that is closing its doors for good. Monterey Bay Canners’ employees said the restaurant cannot survive the pandemic.
The popular seafood restaurant has been a part of the Hawaii community for over 35 years.
Long-time waitress Susan Ines said she cannot believe it is closing permanently.
“I had a feeling. Some of us had a feeling, but we’re in denial. I’m still in denial,” Ines said.
Ines said the restaurant was unlike any other.
“We have people that have been coming here, very loyal, everyday,” she explained about their customers. “We have a bar. People sat at the bar stools. They know they had their own chairs.”
General Manager Martin Valencia has worked for the restaurant for 29 years. He said the restaurant is like family to both customers and employees.
“Monterey is known for our big groups, live bands. It was one of those places where you could come out, hangout, and be family,” Valencia said.
As employees worked Friday afternoon to empty out and clean the restaurant, one of those musicians stopped by to say, ‘Aloha.’
“I said, ‘I like pick up something… like something for remembrance. This was like a second home for me for many years,” said Adney Atabay who has been going to Monterey Bay Canners since the 80s.
For many long-time employees, the news of the closure is heart breaking.
“Monterey’s is our life. It’s our family. I mean we treasure our job at Monterey, but since we have this COVID-19, our company been pushed to close down,” said Conrado Partoriza, a kitchen manager for 13 years.
Ines has a message for her customers and co-workers who she considers her Ohana.
“Sadly to say, we are officially closed. We love you guys. Thank you. Thank you from all of us. You know, we see you guys. We recognize you. Thank you. I don’t want to cry. Cut. Aloha,” she said.
The restaurant was closed since March, and it was not doing take out orders.
Employees shared that the owner decided recently not to re-open.
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