Polynesian Cultural Center’s Hukilau Marketplace Brings Back The Spirit of Old Laie
– More than 40 shops, eateries and attractions open on Oahu’s North Shore –
Laie, Hawaii – February 23, 2015 – The Polynesian Cultural Center (PCC) officially marked the opening of the new Hukilau Marketplace with a public ceremony and celebration held February 20 on Oahu’s North Shore.
Open six days a week, Monday through Saturday from 10:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. with free admission and parking, the Hukilau Marketplace encompasses 119,000 square feet of the PCC’s 42-acre campus and features more than 40 retail, dining and activity providers.
“This is the beginning of a new era in the history of the Polynesian Cultural Center,” said Alfred Grace, President & CEO of the PCC. “The Hukilau Marketplace allows us to diversify the offerings for PCC guests while also serving residents and visitors who are enjoying the North Shore and want to take a bit of time to dine, shop, and stretch their legs.”
Many of the stores at the Hukilau Marketplace have longstanding ties to Laie, the North Shore, and Polynesia and offer distinctive items not available at any other major tourist attraction or shopping center in Hawaii.
Grace added, “It’s always been important to us that we remember the legacy on which the Polynesian Cultural Center was built. The Marketplace relives a golden era from Laie’s storied past, something I am sure both locals and visitors will appreciate.”
The monumental milestone brings the PCC’s history full circle to the days of the Laie Hukilau, which provided the inspiration for the opening of the North Shore attraction in 1963. Now, in the same spirit as the early hukilau days, the Hukilau Marketplace will reestablish Laie as a gathering place for old-fashioned, family fun.
Featured at the Hukilau Marketplace are an impressive variety of foods, products and goods available, free Wi-Fi, and public access to spacious, clean restrooms. In the Hukilau Plaza Gazebo, live entertainment by PCC musicians or visiting groups will be scheduled on a weekly basis.
Hukilau Marketplace guests wanting to get a brief tour of the interior of the neighboring PCC can purchase a ticket at $10 per person for a relaxing 15-minute canoe ride down the winding, freshwater lagoon. Guests who later decide to purchase admission to the Center’s island villages, Ali’i Luau, or Ha: Breath of Life, can use the $10 fare as a credit towards their total.
Carrying the Laie Legacy
Anchoring the Hukilau Marketplace are signature stores and attractions named and designed in tribute to several significant Laie landmarks and community members. These include:
Pounders Restaurant – Named after Pounders Beach, a popular Laie bodysurfing location, the full-service restaurant is open from 11 a.m. – 10 p.m. from Monday through Saturday, offering island-inspired entrees for lunch and dinner created by Chef de Cuisine Sean Priester. Priester, who brings more than 30 years of experience to Pounders Restaurant, takes a refined yet rustic approach to the menu featuring local, fresh produce and ingredients whenever possible. Items will include familiar dishes like fried rice and saimin with a twist, and fresh pizzas baked in Pounders’ own kiawe-wood-burning brick oven, the centerpiece of the open kitchen. Diners can enjoy air-conditioned dining inside, or relax on the covered, open-air lanai. The menu will eventually be expanded and the restaurant hours extended to offer breakfast service.
Laie General Store – Paying homage to the legacies of three beloved neighborhood businesses, Goo’s Old Plantation Store, Laie Credit & Carry, and Laie Curios, the signage, decor and memorabilia are reminiscent of Laie’s plantation era when these family-run community stores were formed. Products include Hawaii and Polynesian-inspired souvenirs and gifts, convenience items, and local favorite cracked seed snacks.
Hamana Kalili Statue – A descendant of Hawaiian ali’i (chiefs), skilled waterman, and beloved community leader, the late Hamana Kalili of Laie (1882–1958) is considered to be the “father” of the shaka. Kalili lost the middle, index and ring fingers of his right hand in an accident while working at the Kahuku Sugar Mill. After being reassigned to security at the sugar cane railroad, he would wave his right hand with the middle three fingers missing to signal that the train was ready to roll. Local kids began copying Kalili’s distinctive wave, which ultimately became known as the shaka. Later, Kalili would shaka to visitors when playing King Kamehameha in the Laie Hukilau. The statue was created by Leroy Transfelt, a Maori native who worked at the PCC as a student at BYU-Hawaii.
Joseph Kekuku Statue – At a young age, Laie boy Joseph Kekuku, who was born in 1874, invented the Hawaiian steel guitar. As he got older he would share his beautiful guitar sounds on the U.S. mainland, helping to popularize Hawaiian music around the world. In the early 1930s, electrification made the distinctive, gliding sounds of his Hawaiian steel guitar even more popular. Kekuku was inducted into the Steel Guitar Hall of Fame in 1993. The statue will be completed and installed this spring.
Following is a complete listing with short descriptions of the food and retail offerings that will be or are soon-to-be available at the Hukilau Marketplace.
Food and Beverage
Aunty Emily’s Bakery – Polynesian baked favorites like meat pies, malasadas (Portuguese fried donut), and panipopo (Samoan dessert featuring bread smothered in coconut milk)
Tutu’s Sweet Shop – Hawaiian King Candies offers its made-in-Hawaii confections, including freshly dipped chocolate macadamia nuts, fruits and cookies. Other sweets and snacks available include roasted macadamias and praline nuts, caramels, honey, popcorns and cotton candy.
Roulotte Court – A collection of food trucks inspired by the street eats scene on the marina in Pape’ete, Tahiti.
Baguette Shack – Caprese, turkey, ham or pork belly filled baguette sandwiches.
Seven Brothers Surf – The Hannemann family, which operates several restaurants on the North Shore, will serve up seafood dishes like coconut macadamia or garlic-lovers Kahuku shrimp, and a fresh-fish catch-of-the-day plate.
Tita’s Grill – The popular Kahuku eatery run by the local Ah You ohana (family), will offer a handful of their most popular items at the Hukilau Marketplace’s Roulotte Court, including generous plate lunches, loco moco, several varieties of burgers, stir-fry, kalbi ribs, and Tahitian steak frit. (Opening Date: TBD)
Kawika’s Koolers – Refreshing iced or blended treats including fruit smoothies, mixed tropical fruit juices, and acai bowls blended with fruits and apple juice, and topped with French vanilla/almond granola, sliced ripe banana and strawberries, and drizzled honey.
Ono-Yo – Frozen yogurt stand featuring nine tropical flavors, including soursop, jackfruit, lilikoi (passion fruit), star fruit and papaya with your choice of toppings.
Delice Crepes – Sweet or savory? Choose from a selection of creative crepes, such as the S’More with marshmallow, chocolate, and graham crackers, the Tahiti with coconut, the Butter Cup with peanut butter, chocolate and banana, or customize your own from a choice of 14 crepes or waffles and 20 toppings.
Poi Boy Dogs – Regular and spicy Polish hot dogs, and cold beverages.
Snack Wagon – Local-style candies and munchies, including macadamia nuts, mochi treats, Maui potato chips, and cookies.
Other carts – Island Breeze with shaved ice; Grilled corn cart; and Aunty’s Bests with bakery favorites.
Retail, Activities, and Services
Hapa Home – Island inspired home furnishings and lifestyle products, including throw pillows, wall coverings, island and hula-style ceramics, art pieces, Hawaiian style quilts, wicker baskets, and more.
Nona’s Tropical Threads – Named after Aunty Nona Warner, the PCC’s recently retired seamstress, the store offers island-style fashions for men, women and children in the best tradition of Aunty Nona. Purchases can be shipped anywhere in the world.
Basin – The Hukilau Marketplace will be one of two Hawaii locations for the customize-your-own bath and beauty product retailer. Noted Big Island designer Sig Zane is working with Basin to design a space with a beautiful Hawaiian presentation. Basin has stores at Walt Disney World’s Downtown Disney Marketplace and the Miracle Mile Shops in Las Vegas. (Opening Date: TBD)
Jaseboards – A North Shore based longboard-streetboard company, started by Jase Bennett while attending BYU-Hawaii. The Hukilau Marketplace location will become the flagship store for Jaseboards.
Kahuku.org – Kahuku High t-shirts, shorts, license plate frames, hats, bags, umbrellas and kiddie-wear for fans wanting the Red Raiders logo items.
Mana o Polynesia – Carved Polynesian-style wood creations, museum-quality weapon reproductions, imported South Pacific handicrafts, such as lauhala or pandanus purses and baskets, and shell accessories, like rice shell and puka shell necklaces, earrings, shark’s teeth pendants, and mother-of-pearl carvings.
Polynesian Art Stand – Offering made-in-Hawaii fine art, ceramics, pottery and spectacular Big Island volcano photos by Bruce Omori and Tom Kualii that are permanently printed on metal. Also, hula-themed prints by Hau’ula-based photographer Kim Taylor Reece. Purchases can be shipped anywhere in the world.
Male’s Finest – Polynesian style bone carvings and accessories.
Pukana La Creations – Polynesian style costume jewelry.
Island Yumi/Hello Kitty – Hawaii brand of clothing, stationery, gift items and accessories featuring cute, fun, and loveable characters for girls of all ages.
Na Hoku Jewelry – Operating out of Hapa Home, Na Hoku features Hawaii and island-style fine jewelry selections including exquisite Tahitian black pearls and mother of pearl creations. Plus, an impressive selection of diamond and gem creations as necklaces, pendants, chokers, earrings, and more.
Amusement Ink – Amusement Ink quickly applies airbrushed tattoos with non-toxic paint that dry instantly, are waterproof and long lasting. Also offered is face painting, and beautiful leather and stamped brass bracelets.
Lei-Away – Plumeria and other fresh flower lei, including fragrant maile, ginger, tuberose are available for purchase after watching them being made. The stand also carries kukui nut leis and bracelets.
Laie Activities Center – Activity and equipment rentals swimming gear and other equipment so guests can explore Laie and the nearby beaches. He will also support guests of the new Laie Marriott Courtyard hotel when it opens this summer. (Opening Date: TBD)
Scooterville – Scooter rentals offered at PCC’s guest services desk.
Polynesian Football Hall of Fame – Official home of Polynesia’s greatest football players, coaches and contributors. The exhibit showcases the achievements of the 13 inductees from the first two (2014 & 2015) Hall of Fame classes with plaques, photos, mementos, an interactive display and wall of honor.
Shaka Shoots – Professionally finished photos are on display and available for purchase, that members of our photography team take of guests at various PCC locations, posing with employees, or wearing Polynesian costumes.
Guest Services – PCC’s customer service representatives can help with information, gate handouts, renting of lockers, strollers and regular wheelchairs (a limited number of motorized wheelchairs can also be rented); and lost-and-found. Open until 9:30 p.m. (call 808-293-3009).
PCC Ticketing Office – The PCC’s main box office for ticket purchases, pick-ups, and making modifications to existing reservations.
For more information about the Hukilau Marketplace, please visit HukilauMarketplace.com. For more information about the Polynesian Cultural Center, visit Polynesia.com or call toll-free at (800) 367-7060. On Oahu, call (808) 293-3333.