Popular Aiea Diner Closes After 59 Years In Business

Richard Chagami and Pat Otsuka
Richard Chagami and Pat Otsuka

(KHNL) - An Aiea landmark on the corner of Kamehameha Highway is closing Monday. The popular diner called Forty Niner has served patrons for almost 6 decades.

It's official. The restaurant closes Monday afternoon. For 59 years they've been at this location serving up local style lunches.

Steaming hot saimen. And enormous burgers with the works.

It's what customers crave.

And nobody makes it like Richard Chagami.

Richard's niece Pat Otsuka-Spencer reflects on the diner, "We have very loyal customers, been running twice as many customers for the last few weeks of course but have customers that come in 3-5 days a week cuz they are gonna miss the hamburgers and saimin."

At 89 years old, owner Richard Chagami still works everyday. 7 days a week no vacation.

Of course he has his favorite dish, "The beef cutlet I think that is the best."

The hamburgers are the biggest sellers.

Chagami chimes in, "They all seem to like the hamburger"

After serving in the 442nd Infantry Regiment during World War II, Chagami opened the Forty Niner with his brother. And it quickly became a family business. It still is.

Spencer adds, "It has been a very good run for us it is sad for him it is a sad time for him too. He has worked very hard for many years."

After 59 years time to hang up his hat and test his luck with his fishing pole.