Despite hesitance from some, city holds a ‘Dine in Chinatown’ event

Patrons headed to restaurants in Chinatown over the weekend.
Patrons headed to restaurants in Chinatown over the weekend.(HNN)
Updated: Jul. 13, 2020 at 6:01 AM HST
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HONOLULU, Hawaii (HawaiiNewsNow) - An effort to boost business in Chinatown went took place this past weekend, despite criticism from some.

Part of Hotel Street was shut down to vehicles for the “Dine in Chinatown” event. It allowed restaurants to expand outdoor dining options to allow for social distancing in restaurants, while allowing local residents to freely roam the streets.

Some state leaders opposed the event saying large crowds in gatherings like this weren’t a good idea, even if it helped business.

“Any large gathering is going to be of concern. You have situations where people are in close proximity to each other, often not wearing masks,” said Dr. Bruce Anderson, Hawaii Department of Health Director.

Meanwhile, other critics of the event say the city’s effort to help business is welcome, but that the city should have collaborated more with community leaders.

“I think its a good idea and I hope that it will continue, but with more effort put in by planners to get together with stakeholders,” Chu Lan Shubert-Kwock of the Chinatown Business Association said.

The city says the event was a one-time pilot, and that it’s evaluating whether to hold it again.

A similar initiative however is continuing in Waikiki. The city says the Waikiki open streets event, where families are invited to bike, walk or run along Kalakaua, will continue through the end of the month.

A portion of Kalakaua Avenue will be closed to vehicles on Sundays from 6 a.m to 1 p.m.

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