What’s Next for These Stores After Ward Warehouse Closes for Demolition?
Miss your favorite Ward Warehouse merchants? Here’s where to find them.
Photo: David Croxford
After more than four decades of bringing great shopping and dining to Honolulu, Ward Warehouse is closing its doors Aug. 1. The restaurant and retail center built in 1975 was only intended to last 15 years. Forty-two years later, the building will be demolished and replaced by a luxury high-rise.
Say goodbye and mahalo to your favorite businesses at Ward Warehouse’s “A Hui Hou” party this Sunday, July 30 from 5 to 9 p.m. Nā Mea Hawaiʻi, Aupuni Place and the Ward Amphitheatre are hosting a community potluck with live music, authors, artists, comedy and D.I.Y. activities.
We are sad to see it go, so we wanted to share guide to what’s happening with some of the businesses:
Photo: David Croxford
Owners Darrell and Stephanie Ching are looking forward to what they call a “semiretirement” after running Novel-T World for 34-and-a-half years. The couple plans to develop an online store and participate in pop-up events and craft fairs around the island.
“We kind of felt that it was a pretty good run being in a brick-and-mortar location,” Darrell Ching says.
Novel-T World plans to pop-up at New Wave Friday every second Friday of the month at South Shore Market in Ward Village from 5 to 9 p.m., along with seasonal and community craft fairs.
“We’re excited about doing the Ward Village one so at least once a month, the second Friday, we’ll be here, so it won’t be a total withdrawal of Ward Village,” Stephanie Ching says. “We’ll still have that connection once a month to see each other and say hi.”
The Chings look forward to venturing out and doing the business more part-time, without the daily commute from Mililani. Customers can still keep in touch via email, social media and, soon the online store. While many customers joined their email list, some gave the Chings their phone numbers so they can find where they’ll be next.
“It’s not really out that we wouldn’t do another store because it’s always a possibility,” Darrell Ching says. “I think there’s a lot of opportunity out there for my wife and me. We figure we’ll lighten our schedule but there should still be enough events available that we could still be out there as Novel-T World,” the scaled-down version.
Nā Mea Hawaiʻi
Photo: Aaron K. Yoshino
Until February, Aupuni Place, Hello Makana and Native Knowledge Center were all under Nā Mea Hawaiʻi. When Ward Warehouse announced the closingthe store split up to fill the spaces vacated by other businesses. In August, the four parts will be combining again under Nā Mea Hawaiʻi and relocating to Ward Centre where Brookstone was located.
Although Aupuni Place was a six-month pop-up, artist studio, gallery and event space, curator Josh Tengan says it could be popping up in future exhibitions, public art projects and contemporary art-related programming.
“It’s a community collaboration because the kind of business model we have is not strictly about sales, it’s about serving the needs of the community, and then, as a result, people who need to get things will get them from us because we have a relationship,” business owner Maile Meyer says. “So we’re going to a place that allows us to continue to do classes and workshops and events … In addition to shopping and dining, people like to be together. … We’re just trying to keep the community in this area.”
Twenty-seven years ago, mother-daughter duo Gail and Laurie Baron started Nohea Gallery at Ward Warehouse. They have two locations planned: First in the Hyatt Regency Waikīkī Beach Resort and Spa’s atrium level opening the first week of August. They’re also working on a more centrally located store, which is taking a little longer and will be announced on the website and social media once it’s official.
“The foundation in the love of Hawai‘i and the love of the arts kind of brought us here,” owner Laurie Baron says. “Beauty and keeping the artists working serves a great purpose. … It’s a joy, it’s a privilege, truly.”
The Old Spaghetti Factory
Pasta fanatics will have to wait until late fall or early winter when The Old Spaghetti Factory reopens at Aloha Tower Marketplace. The new location is under construction but director of real estate Ric Holderbaum says folks there are excited to be reopening again soon. Spaghetti Factory plans to keep its signature design elements, although some pieces were auctioned off.
“The trolley car will go down there and a lot of the stuff we didn’t sell,” Holderbaum says. “We got a lot of new tables and chairs and the layout will be different but a lot of our antiques will still be down there—so all the stained glass, all those kinds of things. When people walk in they’ll have a lot of things to be familiar with.”
The family-owned business closed its Ward Warehouse doors on July 2 to prepare for the move.
The classic American grill that has been serving Hawai‘i since 1976 closed its doors on May 31. Kincaid’s plans to merge staff and menu with sister restaurant Ryan’s Grill in Ward Centre.
Ryan’s Grill, 1200 Ala Moana Blvd., (808) 591-9132, ryansgrill.com.
Pictures Plus is relocating to the Coral Commercial Center in Kaka‘ako on July 31. Manager Sacha Silva says it’s a “really promising location” and that the new store will branch out to the closets and sliding doors division.
“We feel good because we’ll be in the Pow! Wow! community, right in the art district there. We’re still in the same neighborhood because we wanted to make sure our clients could find us, so we’re not moving too far away,” Silva says.
Photo: David Croxford
Waikīkī will be the new home for the Hawai‘i-inspired handbags and accessories at Happy Wahine. After more than five years at Ward Warehouse, the store is moving to the Hilton Hawaiian Village in September or October. There are locations at Pearlridge and Ala Moana. Follow them on social media for updates on its newest location.
“We believe that Waikīkī and Hilton Hawaiian Village will bring more tourists to our store so it’ll become more famous because we’re still considered new, even though we’ve been here for a while,” sales associate Alicia Aurio says.
Cookie’s Clothing Co.
Cookie’s Clothing Co. closed down its Ward Warehouse location on July 21 and moved to a new Chinatown location on July 24.
1144 Bethel St., (808) 225-6061, cookiesclothingco.com.
In anticipation of the closing, T&C Surf opened a store in Ward Centre about three years ago. Paina Cafe will also be moving to a Ward Centre location near Bed, Bath and Beyond. Loco Boutique, Local Fever, Rix Island Wear, Menchies and Book Off are closing their Ward locations, but will still keep their other stores. CraftsWay is closing as well.
Clay Café plans to relocate but has not confirmed a space yet. When it finds one, it will be announced on the website and social media accounts.
The Ultimate Foot Store is relocating to Keauhou Lane in Kaka‘ako, on the corner of Halekauwila and Keawe streets.
Big Bad Wolf and Cameron Hawai‘i already moved to South Shore Market in Ward Village.
Local brands Allison Izu and Ten Tomorrow moved to Kaimukī. Learn more.
The Face Shop will relocate to the second floor of Ala Moana next to Saks Fifth Avenue and Target in October.
Salon Bobbi & Guy is relocating to Ward Entertainment below Ward 16 next to Buca di Beppo on Aug. 1.
Kekoa Collective is moving to Ward Centre near Bed, Bath & Beyond.