Walking Honolulu's Queen Street

Where Honolulu’s urban past and future meet.

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photo: david croxford

Lex Brodie’s Tire, Brake and Service Co.

Four decades before Geico put cavemen to work selling insurance, Lex Brodie employed one to help sell tires. His landmark sign—which features a caveman with an articulated arm chiseling away at a stone wheel—has stood at the original Honolulu location of Lex Brodie’s tire store since around 1968 (nobody now working there remembers for sure). The chiseling arm creaks these days, but it still works. City code no longer permits signs with moving parts, but the caveman was grandfathered in. 701 Queen St., 529-9432.

 


Owners Jim Doyle and Marco Khim with “the girls.”

photo: elyse butler and matt mallams


Caffe Grazie

Caffe Grazie is owner Jim Doyle and Marco Khim’s ode to Italian-American cuisine and that city brimming with red-sauced joints: New York. Sixteen flamboyant mannequins (with four more debuting this year) represent New York neighborhoods and landmarks. One figure, a tribute to now-shuttered Asti restaurant in New York, carries a skirt made of more than 50 pounds of dried spaghetti. Previously a window designer for 16 years in New York, Khim captures the chaos of Manhattan with Miss Madison Ave’s rotating headpiece featuring Elvis and MC Hammer figurines, while two TVs simultaneously play old-school action movies and musicals. Escape with your panini and pasta to the pleasant, shaded courtyard outside if you need peace from Chorus Line. 345 Queen St., 521-8820, graziehawaii.com.

 


photo: david croxford

 

Kawaiahao Church Cemetery

During a 1986 Queen Street widening project, 102 unmarked graves were unearthed just outside the cemetery fence at Kawaiahao Church. Archaeologists determined that the burials were not from ancient times, but beyond that nobody knows the circumstances surrounding them. The bones were placed in 102 lauhala boxes, stacked neatly in a brand-new burial vault and recommited unto the Almighty in 1988 – this time inside the cemetery. At the corner of Queen and Punchbowl streets.

 


photo: courtesy historic hawaii foundation

 

 

Where the Sidewalk Begins

Hawaii’s first concrete sidewalk (it already had a brick sidewalk) was poured in front of the Waterhouse store on Queen Street in 1886, according to Robert Schmitt, author of Firsts and Almost Firsts in Hawaii.

 

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,February

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