LIHU‘E — Art Paris of California and Naty Bali of Lihu‘e had the distinction of placing the last of the morning’s breakfast menu items on order on Saturday at Kaua‘i Diner, which is located on Rice Street near the Lihu‘e Fire Station and Kalena Park.
“We came Friday night, but they were closed,” Paris said. “The people who were working said they would open on Saturday so we came back.”
Cherie Cabading of the Kaua‘i Diner ‘ohana, said the opening was not highly publicized, and yes, Kaua‘i Diner opened its doors for the first time on Saturday morning.
“What?” a motorist waiting on the stop light at Rice and Kalena Streets asked. “They’re open? I’ve got some errands to do, but I’m coming back to check it out.”
Cabading said Kaua‘i Diner, celebrating its “soft opening,” is open Mondays through Sundays from 5:30 a.m. through 9:30 p.m.
“We’re offering breakfast, lunch, and dinner in American, Asian, and Hawaiian choices,” she said. “We’ll probably do a grand opening festivity, later.”
Edie Ignacio Neumiller and her husband Mike had already polished their breakfast offering.
“Mike likes breakfast,” Edie said. “He works around here so has been able to see what was happening when he drives by. He just saw the sign, yesterday. He just couldn’t wait for this place to open so we’re having a light breakfast.”
At the nearby Kalena Park, a group of pickleball players were not aware of the diner’s opening.
“Oh good,” one said. “That means I have a place to eat when I need to come to Lihu‘e.”
Paris, a former Kaua‘i boy now living in California, said the breakfast he had was the best he’s had in a while.
“I miss Kaua‘i,” he said, noting TGI website on his daily read list from his smartphone. “This is news, and normally, you’d hear about it on the radio. But there hasn’t been anything.”
Cabading said almost the entire crew from the former restaurant that used to occupy the spot Kaua‘i Diner sits in joined the ‘ohana of Kaua‘i Diner.
“They have been a great help in getting us ready to open,” Cabading said. “Without their help, we couldn’t do this.”
Dennis Fujimoto, staff writer and photographer, can be reached at 808-245-0453 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Source: The Garden Island