Walking Honolulu's Queen Street
Where Honolulu’s urban past and future meet.
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Honolulu Brewing and Malting Co.
Primo beer was brewed here, from 1901 to Prohibition. When the Hawaii Community Development Authority renovated the building in 1996, the termite treatment to the exposed wood was so noxious that it precluded people from moving in. HCDA sued the suppliers, and the building has been empty ever since. According to HCDA executive director Anthony Ching, the case should be resolved soon, and he hopes to reopen the building as a commercial space within two years. 533 Queen St.
Word of Life Christian Center
The nondescript exterior—which suggests medical offices or a public library—belies the spiritual fire that burns within. During an average weekend, 2,000 people or more might attend services here, making this nondenominational, neo-Pentecostal house of worship a bona fide “megachurch.” Services are raucous affairs, with plenty of singing, dancing, speaking in tongues and even an occasional Polynesian fire dancer. Giant video monitors allow those in the back of the cavernous interior to get a good look at what’s happening on stage. The monitors can also display lyrics so the congregation can accompany the choir, megachurch karaoke style. 544 Queen St., 528-4044.
Interested in living on Queen Street? Check out Melissa Chang’s real estate blog this month on honolulumagazine.com, where she’ll be covering Queen Street condos on the market now.
Security Alarm Shop
When this place opened in the 1980s, a cutting-edge car alarm featured a siren or bell armed via key or toggle switch. That was it. Nowadays, car alarms can be controlled by smartphone, which can also be used to start and stop the engine, lock and unlock the doors, geolocate the vehicle’s whereabouts and travel history, and spy on your daughter to see if she really did drive to the mall like she said. 705 Queen St., 523-0121.
East Asian Basket Co.
It smells like a barn inside, but that’s not the fragrance of hay you detect. It’s the earthy aroma of tens of thousands of hand-woven baskets, mostly from the Philippines. This is where Waikiki hotels, ABC Stores and other big basket buyers go to replenish their basket stockpiles. It’s a wholesaler, but you don’t have to buy in bulk. “We don’t send anybody away,” says Utta Hendrick, who’s been importing baskets for 30-some years. “Even if you want just one little basket, we’ll sell it to you.” 742 Queen St., 596-8076.
The Dickey-designed, former Consolidated’s Kewalo movie theater now houses Panya Group’s central baking and catering operations for its other outposts, as well as a little café. The faded façade belies a sophisticated menu: seafood laksa, a house salad with crab and shrimp, a pork chop with black-pepper sauce. The self-serve bakery case tantalizes with soft Hokkaido buns, curry doughnuts and potato-bacon Danishes, to name a few. 711 Queen St., 597-8880, panyagroup.com.