Kaimukī Gets da Shop, a New Kind of Bookstore and Event Space

Meeting the Amazon challenge head-on, the comfy high-tech salon launches with author and Patagonia Ambassador Liz Clark reading from “Swell: A Sailing Surfer’s Journey of Awakening” on March 27.
Da Shop

Photo: Courtesy of da Shop



It takes guts to open a brick-and-mortar bookstore in the days of instant online gratification, but in da Shop, local publisher Bess Press has found a way to allow fickle/loyal readers to have their cake and eat it, too. The gleaming new space on Harding Avenue (across from the 76 Station and the 12th Avenue parking lots) instantly fills a gaping hole for Honolulu readers who don’t want to venture into Ala Moana. On its smartly curated shelves, you’ll find popular titles from our Island presses—including the University of Hawai‘i Press, Bishop Museum Press, Kamehameha Publishing, Mutual Publishing and, of course, Bess Press—plus a constantly updating selection of New York Times best-sellers and other national and international books. An easy-access digital database ices the cupcake: You can order more than a million titles, purchase them in the store and they’ll ship directly to your doorstep. (You also evade Amazon’s omniscient algorithm.)


SwellAll this and you’ll be supporting a place where you can curl up in a lounge reading chair, park the kids in the children’s section or come to an event like the one this Tuesday, March 27, with Patagonia Ambassador, former champion college scholastic surfer, intrepid sailor and author Liz Clark. Her story is one of the most entertaining and affecting in the genre of extreme sojourning (kicked off by Cheryl Strayed’s Wild). Like Strayed, Clark embarks on a testing path—in her case, heading out to sea and living her dream of environmentalism, self-reliance, sailing and, yes, surfing remote waves. Her account is also refreshingly candid about her fears, inadequacies and the process of mastering a complex piece of equipment, her aging Cal 40 sloop.


Clark’s appearance starts at 6 p.m. and is the grand opening of da Shop. High attendance is expected, but there’s plenty of parking in the municipal lots or on the street.


Da Shop, 3565 Harding Ave., (808) 421-9460, dashophnl.com