Popular eatery closing down

Barbara Aguilar
Barbara Aguilar
Lisa Josephsohn
Lisa Josephsohn

By Paul Drewes - bio | email

HONOLULU (KHNL) - A long time Oahu restaurant is going belly up. The weakening economy is being blamed for many customers cutting back on going out to eat.

At Ward Centre's Compadres, it seems like a usual lunch for Barbara Aguilar. With friends, food and fun at this popular eatery.

"It's comfortable, we like it," said the Waianae resident.

But this meal comes with a side of sadness. The diners are here because they heard Compadres, which has been around since 1984, is closing for good on friday September 26th.

"It's a sad thing for the whole community, its bigger than just losing a restaurant its losing the things the restaurant contributes," said Aguilar.

All around diners, there are empty tables, signs of the struggling economy for this business.

"Unfortunately this is the economic climate we live in, if you don't have more income than expenses you go out of business," said Lisa Josephsohn, a spokesperson for Compadres.

Compadres has won awards for the Mexican inspired food, and caters to both visitors and locals alike. So the tourism slowdown also slowed the number of meals served up at the restaurant.

But the tightening economy also trickled down to local customers.

"Anyone who says we're not in the tourism industry is kidding themselves, we're all impacted by tourism, the local people who we cater to have been hit," said Josephsohn.

And even for those used to hearing about harder economic times, this shut down of Compadres is still difficult news to swallow.

"Its very real here more real than most people realize its scary," added Aguilar.

The Maui Compadres closed last week, and a pair of Compadres in California shut down earlier this week.