Customers say ‘Mahalo’ to Wailana Coffee House after 48 years


After 48 years, Wailana Coffee House will be closing on Sunday, October 14. Many people are stopping by on the final weekend to say their goodbyes to the local business, and to remember the food and the celebrations.

Wailana Coffee House has been a staple at the corner of Ena Road in Waikiki, having been run by the Tom family. However, because extensive renovations that cost about $1 million are needed to remain competitive in Waikiki, the owners decided to close. 

“In the 70s, late 70s, after night clubbing and this used to be our spot. We loved to go to the bar for cocktails,” said Wakazuru.
“It has such a long history. I think my parents grew up coming here. My grandparents kind of came here too, in their adult years, you know. So it’s just one of those things where it’s kind of sad to see something that’s been here so long and treasured by a lot of locals to kind of go away,” said Michael Panzo, a long-time Wailana Coffee House customer. 

Others like Christopher Hilacion wanted to pass down the legacy of Wailana Coffee House one last time. On Friday, he took his daughter Isabella.

“I was able to take her for her first year to finally come here. You know have some lunch, so she’ll always remember it,” said Christopher Hilacion.

Charles Shelley stepped in to work at the restaurant three weeks ago when the restaurant started getting really busy. He says he’s lucky to have been a part of such an iconic place.

“I get to share the memories of people who have, you know, the last memories that they have of coming here for the first time, and actually being here when it’s about to close… So I feel it with them,” said Shelley.

Some customers wanted to leave with final words.

“I just want to tell them thank you and for all your service and everything,” said Mae Wakazuru.

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