Field Guide: Hekaha Street

While many know the street as the home of Jelly’s the Original, there’s more to this bustling business corridor in Aiea.

Photo: David Croxford

Chic Mode

On any given day, the tables at this alterations shop are covered with spools of fabric and thread, scissors and needles. It’s a sign that the store, which has been in business for more than 50 years, is keeping busy. In addition to alterations, owner Cheryl Tanaka, who took over the business in 2002, teaches sewing classes Mondays through Thursdays from 8:30 to 11:30 a.m. “Some students learn to sew, while others learn alterations,” says Tanaka. “It’s really up to them.” In general, the beginner class covers the basics, from sewing buttons and hems to cutting and completing simple garments. 98-023 Hekaha St., Suite 603, 487-1400.


Photo: David Croxford

Yan’s Porcelain and Furniture Inc.

The shelves of this warehouse-size store are crammed with all things porcelain, from statues of cherubs, dolphins and smiling Buddhas to vases, planters and lamps. Glance up, and you’ll see 3-D “moving” photos of waterfalls, beaches and a psychedelic-looking Jesus, along with over-the-top crystal chandeliers. If the waving Maneki Neko, or Beckoning Cat, really does bring good luck to its owners, then Yan’s is the capital of good fortune, as the store has litters of Lucky Cats in a rainbow of colors and styles. Yan’s also sells Asian furniture, from elaborate grandfather clocks to ornate, marble-topped tables. 98-023 Hekaha St., Suite 14, 486-9298.


Photo: David Croxford

A Secret View of Pearl Harbor

Just beyond Chic Mode there’s a gap between buildings where, from a small plot of grass, the curious onlooker is rewarded with a sweeping view of Pearl Harbor’s East Loch, the USS Arizona Memorial and Ford Island. Most Oahu residents have seen these historic sites dozens of times, but miss out on this perspective; the northern shore of Ford Island, with the aging air traffic control tower at Luke Field rising up against the horizon and the memorial peeking out from around the corner.


Photo: David Croxford

Hot Licks Guitars

Hot Licks opened in 1986, and has, over the years, become a mainstay with local musicians who tout its wide selection of new and used guitars in every price point, from high-end acoustics from Martin and Gibson to moderately priced electrics from Fender and Epiphone. Hot Licks also stocks bass guitars, ukulele, amps and all the accessories a rocker could require. For greenhorns, or those looking to hone their strumming skills, guitar, bass or ukulele lesson are available Mondays through Saturdays. 98-023 Hekaha St., Suite 2G, 485-8586.


Photo: David Croxford



Pho Five-O

Pho Five-O is more than just a clever name. The casual Vietnamese eatery is a popular lunchtime destination for area workers and takeout spot for neighborhood residents thanks to its flavorful, like-grandma-used-to-make Vietnamese dishes. Walk in any day and you’ll see regulars sitting at the four-seater, square tables devouring bowls of pho, or beef noodle soup, Vietnamese-style saimin and rice plates. 98-020 Kamehameha Highway., 487-5091.