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urbanguy

Classic Restaurant Closes its doors after 40yrs!

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Waikiki banquet hall serves last meal

Gayle Hong's father opened the House of Hong in Waikiki 40 years ago, but its popularity has waned.

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House of Hong, which for 40 years offered classic Cantonese food in a museumlike setting amid the hubbub of old Waikiki, served its final meal last night.

It was done in, owners said, by changing dining habits and plans to build a new hotel on its longtime Lewers Street location.

In its day, House of Hong was the place to be for family banquets or a night on the town. It was the kind of place that changed plates after every course and left a bottle of Scotch on every table. It was the first Honolulu restaurant to serve Peking Duck.

Founder Raymond Hong, who had "food in his blood," opened the restaurant in 1964 and supervised every detail, daughter Gayle Hong said yesterday as family members prepared for closing night.

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Hong, who died in 1988, toured Hong Kong and Taiwan seeking fine art and commissioning dozens of hand-carved, story-telling wooden panels and screens to line the 250-seat dining room. He sent his chefs to China for training and offered a huge menu, including more than a dozen soups and 40 seafood dishes.

Popular for years with celebrities, tourists and residents, the restaurant lost business in recent years, Gayle Hong said, as people no longer have the time or money for eight-course dinners that last for hours.

"Different era, different times."

Family members plan to continue operating several Waikiki restaurants and open a new Kapolei venture. Art from House of Hong likely will be auctioned later this month, Hong said, through McClain Auctions.

*You guys are most likely unfamiliar with this place but it was an awesome place, very classy, excellent food, and historical in a sense...sad to see it go :(

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It sounds like it was a nice place. It's too bad that it finally had to close.

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^Yeah it was, gosh i wish i could find more pics of it, that place is very cool lots of art too. Sometimes progress and change is not good. :(

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