DENNIS ODA / DODA@STARBULLETIN.COM
Oahu was without power after two earthquakes struck yesterday morning off Kona, and in Waikiki the outage continued well into last night. Taking advantage of emergency lights from the Shorebird Restaurant in the Outrigger Reef Hotel, Brandon and Brittany Kiebler of St. Louis relaxed on the beach rather than remain in their darkened hotel room. CLICK FOR LARGE
Patience pays in Waikiki
Despite long lines at most businesses, tourists remain in high spirits and locals aim to please
Mainland visitor Larry Gutierrez was looking into the ABC Store at the corner of Kanekapolei Street and Kuhio Avenue in Waikiki yesterday, waiting to buy some food.
He had already waited for 20 minutes in a line with 30 people, and estimated he would have to wait another hour.
"My wife's a diabetic so she's got to have some food," Gutierrez said. "I've been up and down and there's nothing (open)."
Tourists and residents in Waikiki spent a lot of time waiting in line just to get something to eat or drink after a pair of earthquakes shook high-rises there and then killed the electricity.
Despite the lines, tourists remained in high spirits, and locals worked hard to meet their needs.
Many Waikiki establishments shut down except for shops selling pre-stocked items or those equipped with gas grills for cooking.
Mirko Nather, visiting from Germany, arrived on Saturday and was waiting for friends to buy iced coffee at Euro Market Cafe on Kuhio Avenue.
DENNIS ODA / DODA@STARBULLETIN.COM
People waited in line last night to enter this ABC Store on Kalakaua Avenue in Waikiki. The store, and other ABC Stores in Waikiki, decided to let in a few customers at a time. CLICK FOR LARGE
"We're just walking around hoping that the power comes back," Nather said. They had "no breakfast, no nothing, just some bottled water."
Across the street from the cafe on Kuhio Avenue, 30 people waited in line to enter an ABC Store.
Jason Gray, 28, said he walked 20 minutes down Kuhio, then Kalakaua and up Lewers Street to the store for something to eat.
With beads of sweat on his lip and forehead, Gray said he didn't care how long he would have to wait for drinks and sandwiches. It was already after noon, and Gray was looking for his first meal of the day.
Next to the ABC Store, in the Saint-Germain pastry shop, about 50 people lined the inside of the darkened store buying bread and pastries. Four employees scrambled around picking up trays and cashing out customers with a calculator and cash. By 3 p.m. the store shut down.
Around the corner from Saint-Germain, in the jungle of Waikiki Market Place, about five eateries with lines of 10 to 20 people each sold Hokkaido noodles, Greek gyros, sushi, Korean barbecue, sandwiches and local food.
Captain Zack's Marlin Bar, nestled beside the food court, drew a crowd with ice-cold beer. All the outdoor tables were taken, and the bar seats were filling up.
"I'm getting my (rear end) kicked," bartender Warren Shaw said, adding, "Everybody's in pretty good spirits." With only natural light available, Shaw said the bar would close at dark.
The large hotels in the area managed partial operations thanks to generators -- providing guests with places to eat and glow sticks to cheer up darkened corners.
The Waikiki Beach Marriott Resort opened the Kuhio Beach Grill for hotel guests only.
CINDY ELLEN RUSSELL / CRUSSELL@STARBULLETIN.COM
Suzie Wilson offered three tea lights for $5 last night to passers-by on Kalakaua Avenue in Waikiki. Wilson and her friend Jenna Hunt came up with the idea while waiting out the power failure at home. The two made $60 in 10 minutes. CLICK FOR LARGE
Jan Walsh, who was standing in a line of about 100 people, said the lines around Waikiki evoked images of World War II rationing.
"We're keeping our sense of humor," she said, adding that the staff at the hotel helped to ease the discomfort.
The Sheraton-Waikiki Hotel opened up the service elevators to hotel guests and set up water stations in the lobby.
"A lot of guests, their spirits are good," said concierge Reno Kalima-Cuaresma. "We're just wondering when the power is coming back on."
Back on Kuhio Avenue, one of the few places to eat was at Ono Cheese Steak on the corner of Nahua Street. Part-owner Joey Castenada said he would keep the restaurant open as long as there was food.
"First thing is to keep on serving these people because everybody's saying there's only a couple places" to eat, Castenada said. More than 30 people waited in line all day, with the line growing to 60 strong as late afternoon gave way to night.
At every ABC Store that was open, there was a line. One on Kalakaua Avenue had more than 80 people waiting in the drizzle to buy water or bread. The stores were lit by camping lamps after dusk, letting in a couple of customers at a time.
Davin Nakasu, assistant manager at an ABC Store on Kuhio near the International Market Place, arrived at 5:15 a.m. and was still helping at 8 p.m.
He said he was not sure when the store would close.
"There's a lot of people. We're trying to help as many people as we can," he said.