Field Guide: 12th Avenue

A cozy little neighborhood where the mom-and-pop shops are as diverse as they are unique.

Photo: David Croxford

Lily Lotus

Yoga enthusiasts who also want to be comfortable and stylish should visit Momi Chee’s 2008 clothing and wellness boutique, Lily Lotus. “We sell organic, sustainable [clothes] and mats,” says Laura Dunn, a sales rep and yoga instructor. Most of the clothing is made from organic cotton, some even from organic bamboo. Chee also creates new lines, this season Moroccan-inspired kaftans and tunics. Lily Lotus also carries jewelry from local artists. “It’s really a one-stop shop for eco fans for everyday living,” adds Chee. 1127 12th Ave., 735-3400. 

Mechahawaii and Urbanz Toys

Photo: David Croxford

If you’re an avid toy collector who died and went to heaven, you’d most likely end up at 1126 12th Ave., home of Mechahawaii and Urbanz Toys. “Half of our clients buy [these] toys for the play factor, half are hardcore collectors,” says Sean Akita, owner of Mechahawaii. He carries everything from $3 Japanese mini plastic collectables foods, to $300 Macross Valkyries, collectable fighting robot toys. Urbanz Toys offers more urban collectables. “We sell art toys based on mostly graffiti and pop surrealism,” says owner Scott Nonaka. 1126 12th Ave.

Photo: David Croxford


Ted’s Jewelry

For 19 years Ted Batol has been engraving, soldering and cutting. “He is an extremely artistic guy,” says Greg Lui, the owner of the 12th Ave Chiropractic Center, and Batol’s neighbor and frequent lunch buddy. Ted’s Jewelry specializes in Hawaiian and jade jewelry, but he customizes many pieces and creates his own sterling silver bracelets, necklaces and rings. “It takes me about a day to make them,” says Batol. Repairs included, his jewelry store does it all. 1126 12th Ave., Suite 101, 735-5667. 


 Did You Know?


Before it was a suburb of Honolulu, Kaimuki was home to King Kalakaua’s ostrich farm.




Photo: David Croxford


Sconees Bakery

The rich, flaky pastry goodness of the bakery in the former Liberty House lives on in the form of Sconees Bakery. “Most of the recipes here I bought from Liberty House,” says Gary Chong, the remaining partner and owner of the Kaimuki bakery established in 1999.  “We are famous for our scones, especially the apple and blueberry ones,” says Chong. “We sell about 500 to 700 a day.” 1117 12th Ave., 734-4024.


Movie Museum

If anyone knows about movies it’s Dwight Damon, co-owner of Movie Museum. “I wasted my youth watching films, but I turned it into a career.” Not your typical movie theater, the Movie Museum, is a 19-seat theater with maroon leather recliners. Damon schedules a lot of foreign, classic and indie films. “We consider ourselves a year-round film festival.” Members can also rent any of the 16,000 videos or DVDs for eight days for $3. 3566 Harding Ave., Suite 4, 735-8771.

Photo: David Croxford

Prosperity Corner

Still haven’t found your true love? Need a promotion? B.J. Colbert has just the solution for you. The owner of Prosperity Corner makes her own spell candles. “They are hand poured for specific purposes, such as love, money or protection,” says manager Amy Sumida. The store also carries crystals, essential oils, tarot cards, wands, unique jewelry and more. This month the store is moving to 1126 12th Ave. 732-8870.