New food park planned for Kakaako waterfront

New food park planned for Kakaako waterfront

KAKAAKO, OAHU (HawaiiNewsNow) - A new food park and marketplace will soon open at the former site of a landmark eatery in Kakaako. Makers & Tasters Kewalo will launch at the old Fisherman's Wharf at Kewalo Harbor.

Kelli Mukawa is living her dream after launching her own business six months ago. She can't wait to sell her specialty iced teas at the food park.

"I think it's just a great location for people to come and grab a quick bite, and then to have a lot of different vendors at one place, it's like a food court that's outdoors and it's just beautiful," said Mukawa, owner of Tea on Fleek.

Street Grindz, LLC, the company that runs the monthly Eat the Street events, is leasing the land from the Office of Hawaiian Affairs for the next three and a half years. The Makers & Tasters grand opening is on August 28. The food park will be open daily from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. and feature a rotating group of up to 15 vendors for both the lunch and dinner shifts. Other highlights include a bar, free parking, and lots of entertainment.

"(We'll have) a movie screen, hula, music. We just want to make this a gathering place, and really give the community of small businesses an opportunity," said Natalie Aczon, project manager of Makers & Tasters Kewalo.

Customers who enjoy dining at the current Street Grindz Kewalo pop-up are looking forward to the new dining adventure.

"It would be great to have an expansion here. This is an ideal place," said Kaimuki resident Dave Smith. "This is something new, and that's why we came."

Vendors are confident, even with all the competition from nearby retailers in Kakaako.

"I think that kind of helps. It's like a synergy thing, like if people don't want to do that, they come here. If they don't want to do this, they go there. Businesses helping business. I think just traffic in general," said Mukawa.

Organizer plan to keep the old Fisherman's Wharf sign.

"We're going to try to restore it because it's just iconic," said Aczon.

OHA is still working on its Master Plan for future development on the 30 acres the agency owns in Kakaako Makai. 

CEO Kamana'opono Crabbe issued this statement:

"The Office of Hawaiian Affairs envisions Kaka'ako Makai as a gathering place for locals and visitors alike. Street Grindz' concept is an exciting way to elevate local business while creating a unique dining experience that is in full alignment with our vision for Kaka'ako Makai. OHA believes this concept will provide a new and innovative dining experience while supporting our small business community."

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