Chiko's Tavern makes it 3 fires in 3 days for Oahu businesses

Leilani Young
Leilani Young

By Minna Sugimoto - bio | email

HONOLULU (KHNL) - First, Denny's. Then, I Love Country Cafe. Now, Chiko's Tavern. For the third day in a row, fire crews rushed to an early-morning fire at an Oahu business.

The owners of Chiko's Tavern are determined to re-open.

Home video shows smoke coming out of Chiko's Tavern in McCully, making this the third fire in as many days at a restaurant or bar on Oahu.

"I'd seen that fire the other day and then the Denny's one, so I didn't expect a third one," Leilani Young, Chiko's Tavern co-owner, said. "But they say everything comes in threes."

Young says her manager closed the bar at about 1:30 am Wednesday. Less than an hour later, about 40 firefighters were called in to battle a two-alarm fire.

"A little bit of shock," Young said. "You don't really take it in just yet, so we're still waiting on what to do next."

Donning a protective mask, fire investigator Jeff Hooker sifts through the rubble and takes photos as he tries to determine the cause.

About 24 hours earlier, officials say food left on a burner sparked a blaze that caused $200,000 in damage at I Love Country Cafe near Ala Moana Center.

Less than 22 hours before that, investigators say a grease fire caused $30,000 in damage at Denny's Restaurant on Kuhio Avenue in Waikiki.

Young fields phone call after phone call as she deals with the unexpected shutdown of her business.

"We have to go through all the insurance and then see what they say, and then it's a matter of cleaning up," she said. "There's a lot of smoke damage and a lot of water damage. So we just gotta see how long it's going to take us to re-open, and get back up and running."

The small bar has survived a tough economy. Young hopes it will survive this as well.

"It's pretty tough nowadays, so we'll see," she said. "Crossing our fingers. Hopefully everything works out."

Investigators have not yet determined what started the Chiko's Tavern fire, which caused $150,000 in damage.