Each month, hundreds are drawn to Kaka’ako for the latest food, entertainment, and shopping from local vendors as the area is transformed for the Night Market.
“It’s cool. It’s got a really great vibe. The Pinch of Salt Warehouse is a beautiful place to be able to pop up your store, your event in,” says event organizer Poni Askew of Street Grindz.
Kamehameha Schools’ Senior Asset Manager-Kakaʻako Christian O’Connor remarks, “What we had was a light industrial area. And what we’re trying to create is a fun, exciting neighborhood. And to do that, you need to bring people to a place. And so it started with Eat the Street, now we’re doing Night Market. And we’re bringing together the community to have fun, to entertain, to create, and to be a community.”
“So you’ve got food, you’ve got art, you’ve got music, entertainment, retail, handcrafters. All of these people are creatives in their own right. And we want to celebrate that over and over again. That is what I see myself doing as we continue to grow,” describes Askew. “I have to honestly say that there wasn’t this community before. In the mainland you hear about districts. There’s the art district, there’s the fashion district. To me, a district is an area that supports the small businesses. They really celebrate the artisans. To me, that’s what Kaka’ako has become. Kaka’ako. To me, Kakaʻako is a district. And it’s a district that supports the artisans, from the geek artisan all the way to the fashion designer to the artist who is truly an artist artisan. So there’s really no place like that here in Honolulu, and for Kaka’ako to be the first is pretty monumental.”
For fashion designer Andy South, “Kaka’ako is a really unique location, not only for Hawaiʻi, but also for the U.S., because it’s one of the few places harks to an industrial time, an industrial area. And now Kaka’ako is really taking off. It has so much potential, it has so much space here. And the opportunities are just budding here.”
OʻConnor describes the long-term Kamehameha Schools’ development for the area by explaining “that’s what Our Kaka’ako is about. It’s starting with community. It’s creating an urban-island culture and then commerce just happens to happen.”
“I completely stand behind what Kamehameha Schools is doing with developing Kaka’ako. This area has so much potential for really great development, and there’s a lot of local businesses that are already here. And making this the center location for local upcoming artists, local businesses, local entrepreneurs to really take off, really take root, help us along the way, and see it flourish. It’s really going to be great,” says South.
Citing Kamehameha Schools’ support of the Night Market, Askew notes “they’ve been you know, providing us a platform in Kaka’ako, which, you know, no body even knew this area before had a name. We’re feeding their growth, and they’re feeding our growth. I think it’s a win-win situation for everybody.”