After 57 years, Ono Hawaiian Food to serve its final meals Saturday

Updated: Aug. 25, 2017 at 10:51 PM HST
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KAPAHULU, OAHU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Customers waited anxiously in long lines Friday to get one final taste of Ono Hawaiian Food.

After 57 years in business, the family-owned restaurant off Kapahulu Ave. will officially close its doors Saturday night.

"I've been coming here for 40 years," said long-time customer Art Lee.

Lee and his family waited over an hour to be seated.

The crowd was a mix of newcomers and veterans.

One couple visiting from California said Ono's is always their first stop whenever they land.

"From the first time we came, we enjoyed it immensely so we kept coming back," said Rebecca Austin.

Almost every inch of the walls are covered with photos of famous customers like Muhammad Ali and Don Ho.

For those who grew up in Hawaii, Onos was more than just a restaurant.

"Mom and dad used to bring us here so it was nice as a family outing to come here," said customer Wendy Kaeo. "I'm just going to miss it."
Almost half the menu sold out by mid-afternoon.

"I feel sad because the people are waiting in line and when they come in and they don't have any food, you like to cry with them," said Vivian Lee, co-owner and manager of Ono Hawaiian Food.

Lee says closing the shop is bittersweet, but the time has come for everyone to retire. She made her rounds table to table on Friday, thanking each guest for their support.

"Everyone is getting old and they want to enjoy themselves," Lee said. "It's coming toward the end and we had to say aloha and thank you very much for all the customers here."

The restaurant will open 11 a.m. Saturday and close once all the food runs out.

No take-out orders will be accepted. Dine in only.

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