WAIPAHU (HawaiiNewsNow) - It's noon on New Year's Eve, the busiest day of the year for businesses like Tanioka's Seafood and Catering, where about a hundred people have been at work, some of them since midnight.
Outside, there's a line of people waiting to get in for their favorites.
"Tako, raw fish and sashimi," said Donna Earley of Nanakuli, who goes to Tanioka's every year to get her New Year's Eve party food. This year, she's picking up pupu for about 20 people.
"Of course, sashimi and poke," said Justin Tanioka of the most popular items at his store for New Year's Eve. "And our catering is really popular also. We have boneless fried chicken, fish patties and fried noodles. That's our staple items."
Things are so busy that th Tanioka's rents two refrigerated trucks to store some of the catered sashimi and sushi platters waiting to be picked up.
"Every year we get up to about 500 to 550 pickup orders. And we spread it out from seven to four o'clock in the afternoon," Tanioka said.
There were concerns that this year's sashimi prices would be higher, but those concerns didn't stop customers from coming in. As it turned out, the prices weren't that bad. "Our medium ahi sashimi, the regular sashimi is $29.95 a pound, which is like four dollars cheaper than last year," said Tanioka. "And the poke's the same price as last year, $14.95 a pound."
In a refrigerated room at the back to Tanioka's a team was cutting and trimming sashimi and putting them into platters. Tanioka's expected to go through at least 600 pounds of sashimi on Saturday alone.
All this activity as once just part of the New Year's Eve ritual on Oahu. "We normally have a party and firecrackers, but this year, no more firecrackers, yeah? It's disappointing," said Earley. When asked what she would do instead of firecrackers, she replied, "I don't know. It's something new, so I just gotta go with the flow, I guess."