It’s the end of an era to make way for a new one. Shirokiya shut its doors today, temporarily, at Ala Moana Center.
It will re-open June 1 on the ground floor of the Ewa Wing of the mall, and will be much bigger.
For customers though, this was the last day to enjoy some of their favorites until the place reopens. They had to get one last fix of some of their favorite things to eat.
KHON2 also caught up with a worker who’s been at the store for nearly all of its 57 years of business.
Fumi Matsushima will be retiring after Thursday. She started working at Shirokiya 56 years ago and didn’t really plan to stay that long.
“It was so fast to go, so I thought maybe I work 10 years, that’s it,” she said.
It’s a bittersweet day for her and many of the customers. They wanted to be here one last day before it moves and get a bite of some of their favorites.
“I’m a bit distraught, because we have to find a new location where we spend most of our time at,” said customer Leslie Ojeda.
“What will you miss most about this place? KHON2 asked.
“Mostly the food. It’s also really convenient for my friends and I to come here and visit,” Ojeda said, noting that she’ll miss the takoyaki most.
“I’m a little disappointed. At the same time, I’m excited to see the new wing and the new stores that are going to open here in Ala Moana,” said customer Caylee Takafuji.
The new Shirokiya will seat up to 800 people. That’s more than three times as much as the current one. Instead of 25 vendors, it will have 60.
The company says it will look more like the massive food courts you see in the basement of Japanese department stores. It will also have five beer stations.
“I think we’re excited. We want to see the new Shirokiya with all the choices of goodies and restaurant foods,” said customer Susan Mar, though she’s not looking forward to the two-month wait.
The new site will be called Japan Village Walk. It’s a $35 million project, and Shirokiya signed the lease for 25 years.