Night club closing, latest in series of changes to Waikiki

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Zanzabar nightclub in the Waikiki Trade Center will be serving its last cocktail Sunday night after being in business for 14 years.

The owners had plans to renovate with a few months left on the lease but decided to shut down instead.

“What it means right now is that whole area is going to change and its going to bring up the area,” real estate analyst Stephany Sofos said.

In recent years, criminal activity in the area has increased.

Zanzabar’s former neighbor, The Shack Waikiki was found guilty of its bouncers assaulting customers by the Honolulu Liquor Commission.

The Shack closed last year after being in business for about four years.

“Whether there’s going to be more crime or not we don’t know. They’re probably going to be more security there’s going to be more cameras there’s going to be more everything because you want to protect what you’ve invested,” Sofos said.

On Kalakaua Avenue, vendors in the International Marketplace were told to be out by December 31.

Many of them say they’ll either shutdown or move to other locations.

Tourists who make the marketplace a stop every time they visit don’t want it to go.

“Change is inevitable and its something you kind of have to get used to but there are certain things that should never change,” Denver visitor Marcia Wolff said.

“It’s a very good marketplace they’ve got a lot of great consumer products and I’m just going to be devastated to see it go,” New Zealand visitor Bertie Brandt said.

Last June, the landowner of the marketplace announced Saks Fifth Avenue would be its anchor store for its redevelopment project.

“It’s very important that Hawaii continue to remain a competitive place a place that offers the latest attractions the most options for retail and dining and all levels of the spectrum,” Honolulu Councilmember Stanley Chang said.

“All of these properties are being redeveloped and so it’s a regentrification of the area which means your going to see a whole bunch of new tenants come in and a different set for what’s happening in the future of Waikiki,” Sofos said.

Sofos says the retail business has to keep changing or else it will die. If we don’t change, visitors will become bored and go to other places to vacation.

“It’s a sad thing in one way because it means that local people are not going to be as comfortable but it also means it’s an exciting thing that if you’re willing to be open-minded than the whole world is open for you,” Sofos said.

No word yet on potential new tenants to take over the location.

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