From Our Files

Our History

In 1888, King Kalakaua issued a royal charter, commissioning a magazine. Then titled Paradise of the Pacific, this publication became HONOLULU Magazine, making it the oldest magazine west of the Mississippi.



“The beautiful yacht Hawaii is now on the gentle Pacific, with sails bent to carry her to San Pedro, from which point she is soon to start as Hawaii’s entry in the transpacific yacht race of 1912,” reports Paradise of the Pacific, predecessor to HONOLULU Magazine. “The Hawaii won the last race, in 1910, under the captaincy of C.T. Wilder. It appears this year she is likely to have a harder contest, for there are more entries in sight. The yacht clubs of the Pacific Coast, from Puget Sound to San Diego, are taking an interest in the contest.” The 2012 Transpac was scheduled to run from Los Angeles, Calif., to Tahiti on April 20.


“Easter Sunday, March 28, 1937. The largest crowd in years witnessed an inspiring program of pageantry, song and prayer on the summit of Punchbowl,” observes Paradise of the Pacific. “From nearly every part of Honolulu, for several days preceding Easter, was visible the City’s Symbol of Passiontide, a twenty-foot Cross erected on the summit of Punchbowl and lighted by the United States Army searchlights. The sunrise services were sponsored by the Honolulu Inter-Church Federation. The services were broadcasted by KGU and KGMB.”


“[Canlis,] the ‘most beautiful restaurant in the world,’ now belongs to Spencecliff, and Spencecliff itself belongs to a Japanese tycoon,” writes HONOLULU. “The 24-restaurant Spencecliff chain, started in 1939 by Spence and Cliff Weaver with a hot dog stand called Swankie Frankie, had been in precipitous decline for the last five or six years. Even at its height, Spencecliff had been better known for its coffee shops—Tops, Kelly’s and the late lamented Coco’s—than for its gourmet dining. … It hardly seemed like the kind of corporation to be buying an expensive dinner house of Canlis’s reputation. What had happened was a direct result of the rising yen and the flood of Japanese capital into Hawaii. Spencecliff had been purchased last summer by Nittaku Enteprise Co. Ltd. Of Japan … funding a $10 million renovation of existing Spencecliff properties … and then moving upscale to acquire Canlis.”

The former Canlis site at 2100 Kalakaua is now home to Luxury Row.