Happened To...

An update on past news

Saturday, April 26, 2003

Lau Yee Chai's manager, John Ooi, holds a menu at the entry of the restaurant, which has been in business for 77 years.

Lau Yee Chai is now located in the Waikiki Shopping Plaza

Question: What ever happened to the Chinese restaurant pictured on this old postcard?

Answer: Waikiki Lau Yee Chai restaurant is still in business after 77 years and can now be found on the fifth floor of Waikiki Shopping Plaza, 2250 Kalakaua Ave.

The postcard shows the ornate tiled building near the intersection of Kalakaua and Kuhio avenues that was a landmark from the time it was opened by William Mau in 1926. The Mau family developed the Ambassador Hotel at that site, moving the restaurant in 1968 to Waikiki Business Plaza, just below the revolving Top of Waikiki restaurant.

In 1977 it opened in the current location, also a building developed by the Mau family, with the original moon gate entrance and 500-year-old Buddhist art still in place.

General manager Sammy Lee said that with seating for 500 people, the restaurant is popular for wedding receptions and anniversary parties and has hosted United Chinese Society functions for 50 years. The main dining room remains open except on Sundays during renovations expected to be completed by July. The original Cantonese menu has been expanded to include Hong Kong-style and Szechuan dishes.

This update was written by Mary Adamski.

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