FL MORRIS / FLMORRIS@STARBULLETIN.COM
Kimuraya Bakery in Kaimuki is closing, along with next-door neighbor Suzuki Japanese restaurant. Above, Audrey Tang, who said she has been a customer since it opened 33 years ago, left the store. She said her favorite items are the haupia donuts and the anpan.
Two Kaimuki eateries closing
Kimuraya Bakery and neighbor Suzuki Japanese Restaurant will close this month
Kimuraya Bakery, a Japanese bake shop in Kaimuki, is closing its doors tomorrow after 33 years in business.
The last baked good will be sold at 7 p.m. on Friday, said bakery cashier Susan Siu, who's served hundreds of customers a day, six days a week, for several years.
"These last few days have been so busy," said Siu.
Nevertheless, bakery offerings will continue until the last loaf of bread is sold tomorrow.
A sign posted on the door and counter by manager Motoyasu Nakatani has informed customers of the closure.
"We extend our warmest appreciation and gratitude for your patronage of the Kimuraya Bakery the past 33 years," it says.
"It's sad to learn that yet another local bakery is closing, putting us just one step closer to becoming more like the mainland," said Kathy Chan, who grew up near Kimuraya. "It's these local bakeries and restaurants that make our island so special food-wise!"
Chan, who now lives in New York, writes a blog called "Passion for Food." She remembers stopping in after school, or after popping into Kaimuki Library across the street to pick up a few books.
Her favorites: The haupia donuts.
Ocean and Heaven Hense-Dorroh, a kindergartner and third-grader from Kaimuki Christian School, only recently discovered the bakery along with their parents.
They're used to making a stop right before school and sometimes, after school, for a snack. Ocean's favorites: Long Johns. Heaven's favorites: Chocolate-glazed donuts.
Other popular items include the pizza rolls, frank rolls, anpan (pastry filled with several kinds of sweet bean paste), cream cheese twists, and apple donuts.
Next door, Suzuki Japanese Restaurant will also be closing after a little more than 10 years in business. Its last dinner will be on Feb. 23.
Jean Suzuki said her parents, Fujio and Yasue, will retire after closing the restaurant.
It's been a good run, according to Suzuki, and owning a restaurant was a dream come true for them. The restaurant has a good local following -- without much advertising -- and is well-known for its tempura, butterfish misoyaki and chicken tofu.
On Mondays and Tuesdays, the restaurant offers a special menu price of $15. Reservations are recommended for the last dinner next Sunday.
The landowner for the site of both businesses, listed in property records as Hironori Kajitani, has sold the building at 1048 Koko Head Ave. Kajitani is also listed as the president of Kimuraya Bakery of Hawaii Ltd.
The bakery and restaurant were not able to agree on lease terms with the new owners.
Siu and Suzuki said they do not know the names of the new owners, nor their plans for the building.
"We've definitely appreciated the warmth of our customers," said Suzuki. "They've become our good friends and we'll surely miss them. Hopefully we'll bump into each other."
Kimuraya Bakery manager Nakatani will return to Japan, along with three bakers. Between six to eight part-time cashiers working the front counter will also have to look for other part-time jobs.