Finding Beretania

The people, businesses, landmarks, history and food that make this street such an integral part of Honolulu’s cityscape.


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In just 3.3 miles, Beretania Street manages to pack in a complete cross-section of urban life in Honolulu, passing through residential, business and government areas, and lined with food, shopping, history and interesting people. For all its charms, though, Beretania isn’t known as a walking street, and it’s easy to overlook all kinds of treasures as you’re zooming through on your way to work. We hit the streets, exploring the blocks between Moiliili and Iwilei on foot, to find the best of Beretania—the stuff that’s worth discovering for yourself.

Photo by Sergio Goes

Do you have a favorite Beretania spot? Tell us.

Washington Place

photo by David Croxford

Even if you lived 160 years, you’d be hard pressed to lead a more interesting life than what is perhaps Hawaii’s grandest building: Washington Place. The sea captain who had the mansion built in 1842, John Dominis, was lost at sea just before the home was completed in 1847. (He had left in hot pursuit of Chinese furnishings and was never seen again.) Washington Place hosted the Islands’ first visit of a Mr. S. Claus, on Christmas of 1858; witnessed the death of Queen Liliuokalani, who passed away in her enormous mahogany bed in 1917; and was later home to 12 governors and their families. Too bad the wallpaper can’t talk, but tours of this grand old home are available, just call 586-0240 to schedule. 320 S. Beretania St.

Hungry? Good Luck Chinese Restaurant, in the front of the Chinese Cultural Plaza, has lunch specials for $4.95. (The specials are available from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., Monday through Friday.)

Artist Moana Aluli Meyer fosters the loal art scene with StudioBe.

photo by Sergio Goes


Wriggle like you’re in Cairo, or calm your mind while chanting “om”—it’s your choice at the year-old StudioBe, which offers classes in Ashtanga yoga, Egyptian-style bellydancing and Tibetan meditation. The vision of artist Moana Aluli Meyer, StudioBe shares an interior landing with Meyer’s other outpost, Daspace, around the corner on Smith Street. StudioBe is, Meyer says, “a groovy little space. It’s multipurpose; we have drum circles, children’s workshops, we’re on the First Friday route. I do a lot of recycled art. We are happy to be on Beretania, we love the whole Chinatown thing.” For class schedules, visit 63 N. Beretania St., second floor, 351-4960.

Kaikea Kimura, Jarold Webb, John Oliviera, Aaron Lee and Tim Jackson, members of the Aala Park Boardshop team.

photo by Sergio Goes

Aala Park’s Skatepark

Skateboarders rip it up at Aala Park’s skatepark, which is run by the Department of Parks and Recreation. The 10,000-square-foot rink was renovated in 2002. According to skateboard Web site, the spot was, in the early-’70s, a roller-skating rink, before becoming “the birthplace and romping grounds of many talented skateboarders in Hawaii.” It’s open from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m., daily.

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