Maui residents flood Fukushima Store for final hot dog after rumors of shutting down forever

Fukushima Store has been a staple in the Haiku community for more than 50 years.
Published: Dec. 15, 2022 at 7:09 PM HST|Updated: Dec. 15, 2022 at 7:20 PM HST
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HAIKU (HawaiiNewsNow) - People from all over Maui are making the drive to Haiku to fill their stomachs with hot dogs.

That’s because rumors started circulating on social media over the weekend about Fukushima Store closing its doors for good.

“I heard they’re going to close, so I came to get some famous hot dogs,” said Makawao resident Troy Kahalekai.

George Fukushima would not confirm the rumor for sure, but said they are definitely closing for the holidays on Dec. 23 then, “going from there.”

He said his store needs repairs and he is getting old — He’s 78-years-old.

Fukushima Store has been a staple in the Haiku community for more than 50 years.

“Childhood memories,” said Makawao resident Eric Mendoza.

“I would always come here when I was young and eat hot dogs.”

A worker at the store said they wanted the closure to be a secret, but they had to let their vendors know.

Mr. Fukushima jokingly said he wanted to “disappear into the sunset.”

All week long, droves of customers have been flooding the store for their final fix.

The workers said one lady came in and bought dozens of hot dogs, planning to freeze them.

“I only come here to eat hot dogs. I don’t come for anything else,” said Makawao resident Peter Crozier. “Being that he’s going to shut down, I better get my last hot dog before it’s out.”

All day Thursday, customers were raving about the famous red hot dogs with mustard, mayo, ketchup, onions, and a pickle spear.

“Me and my whole family group messaged, ‘Fukushima’s is closing down’ and I was like, ‘No!’” said Waikapu resident Lindsey Kong.

Kong came in to get her usual “everything on it hot dog” and a shirt, but the shirts are sold out.

So, what makes a Fukushima Store hot dog so good?

Some will tell you it is the Maui traditional mayo-mustard mix. Others will say it’s the pickle, most will tell you it’s just nostalgic.

Whatever it is, everyone can agree on one thing: Fukushima Store will always be special to Maui residents.

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