4 May 2013

All Mallmanac - Kahala Mall, Honolulu, HI

Kahala Mall, located on the eastern edge of Honolulu in the shadow of Diamond Head, takes advantage of its proximity to some of the island's most affluent neighborhoods. Thusly, as the last time I lived in Hawai'i I was a poor college student at the University of Hawai'i, I rarely visited the place. Also, it was a bit out of the way and its smaller size really made a trip to the place pointless. But it was always a nice place with its carpeted floors and indoor landscaping. And a really good California Pizza Kitchen. Kahala's was the first location of the chain which I ever patronized, and I've kind of had a thing for CPK ever since.

 
Kahala Mall Mallmanac ca. 1993. View the full PDF version here.

Kahala opened as an open-air center in 1958, pre-dating the venerable Ala Moana Center by one year. It was, and still is for the most part, an ecclectic combination of five & dimes, full line department stores, grocery stores and even a bowling alley. In 1970, the mall was enclosed and became Hawai'i's first air conditioned shopping center. It's been attracting the crowds ever since. Much like Pearlridge, it is tailored to the local population. The very well off local population.

 
Kalikimaka at Kahala.

The mall had a much more Hawai'i flavor when I was last living on the island. Since then, however, Liberty House has become Macy's, Star Market has become Whole Foods and Long's Drugs has been taken over by CVS (although it still operates under the Long's name.) But Kahala has always worked very well in its niche and as it nears its 55th birthday, it's well positioned to see many more.


Kahala mall as of this writing.

Kahala Mall official website

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