EXCLUSIVE: Bistros to replace Waikiki homeless havens - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

EXCLUSIVE: Bistros to replace Waikiki homeless havens

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The city is taking an unconventional approach to Waikiki's homeless problem: outdoor bistros.

The city is leasing a portion of a public pavilion next to Kuhio Beach to a food concession operator.

The restaurant, dubbed the Waikiki Grass Shack Bistro, serves a full menu that includes Kalua pig and Kalbi sandwiches, Black Angus burgers and salads.

If the food operations succeed, the city plans to bid out two other locations along Kuhio Beach.

"I think we have an experiment going on right now. We want to see how it works in Waikiki," said Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell.

"People have been screaming about what the city and county could do to address the homeless problem in Waikiki."

The park benches and tables along Kalakaua Avenue are a haven for homeless. The city says it wants to move the homeless from Waikiki's parks and beaches into homeless shelters, where they can get their lives together.

"It's very dirty and there was graffiti and people are panhandling and they are dumpster diving," said Edlyn Vancina of Phoenix.

"You come to vacation here and the panhandling or whatever, there needed something to be done. It was becoming messy."

Robert Breugelmans of Holland thinks more should be done to help the homeless but says he likes the city's new idea.

"In terms of tourism, it's good that they are sort of remodeling the Waikiki area and trying to make it a better place," Breugelmans said.

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