Ba-le has charitable reopening in Kalihi
The successful sandwich chain will donate all of the restaurant's sales
Thanh Lam and Xuan Chau mark their 25th wedding anniversary this year, but they're foregoing the usual celebration.
"Normally people, they have a party. I told my wife, 'Why don't we not do a party and save the money and give it to a charity?'" Lam said.
Lam is president of Ba-le Inc., better known for its many island restaurants, Ba-le Sandwich and Bakery.
Along with the commemoration of his marriage, he is marking his 21st year in Hawaii and the reopening of his Kalihi restaurant with a plan to generate several thousands of dollars for good causes.
Through Monday, Lam will donate all the sales from the Ba-le location at 2242 Kamehameha Highway to three charities. Plus, he will match every dollar with one of his own. "If you come in today and spend $5, I will donate $10," he said.
He plans to give half to Catholic Charities Hawaii, 25 percent to Helping Hands Hawaii and another 25 percent to the University of Hawaii business school -- where two of his sons are studying for their degrees.
The Kalihi outlet closed in July so Lam could secure more customer parking (he has since bought a nearby lot). It reopened yesterday, and Lam said he'd done $1,000 in sales by 2 p.m.
"I learned that if you want to give you can't wait," Lam said. "If you have 10 cents and you say, 'I'll wait until I have $10,' and then when you have $10 you say, 'I'll wait until I have $100' -- you know, it will never happen."
The donations apply only to the Kam Highway store, near the Dillingham Boulevard/Puuhale Road intersection, not far from Marukai Wholesale Mart. Call 847-2299.