Walking Honolulu's Queen Street
Where Honolulu’s urban past and future meet.
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The food isn’t why people come to Fresh Café, though its sandwiches and salads can certainly hold their own. On any given weekday, people set up their mobile offices here, computers tapped into the free wifi. But the evenings and weekends are when it gets interesting: In the warehouse-like space behind the café, there might be a slam poetry session, author readings, an art and flea market, concerts or an urban art opening. The warehouse walls showcase different artists monthly, both local and international, the aesthetic leaning toward street art, befitting the gallery’s industrial location. “It was originally just a small coffee shop as a gathering space for the creative community,” owner Tiffany Tanaka says. Now, it’s also become a place for creating. 831 Queen St., 688-8055, freshcafehi.com, loftinspacehi.com.
Did you know?
King Kamehameha I lived on Queen Street. This was after Kamehameha conquered Oahu, and before Queen Street was actually a street. Initially Kamehameha settled in Waikiki, but in 1809 he relocated to a royal compound with a good canoe landing along Honolulu Harbor, where he resided in a thatched palace called Halehui. The book Sketches and Maps of Old Honolulu shows the royal compound located right at the site where Queen Street and Nimitz Highway now meet.
Liquid Planet, a film and video production house, offers studio space for a range of creatives, from filmmakers shooting an Eddie Aikau documentary to a photographer composing Christmas cards. The studio offers a 2,000-square-foot green screen, HD editing bays and equipment rentals, including a Red Digital Cinema camera (the brand used to film such movies as The Social Network and The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo). 762 Queen St., 585-7700, liquidplanetstudios.com.
Magnum Firearms & Range
Originally this shop was called Magnum Motor Sports and it sold chrome wheels, dual manifold exhausts and other aftermarket auto accessories. When online sales started chipping away at the business, and auto manufacturers seized a larger slice of the car-parts pie, Magnum’s owner, Art Ong, saw the writing on the wall. So he got a new sign and reinvented his inventory. Now Magnum deals in guns and gun accessories, and it runs an indoor firing range where you can try some of them out. It may seem like a radically different business plan, but Ong says his clientele hasn’t really changed much. “A lot the same people who are into cars are also interested in guns,” he says. 940 Queen Street, 597-1911.