WAIKIKI, Hawaii -- In a continuing effort to improve the visitor
experience here, the city of Honolulu is blocking off the main
beachfront drag one Sunday a month for its Waikiki Brunch.
With artificial grass on the pavement and tables with umbrellas,
visitors and locals are taking to the streets for food, drinks and
entertainment from 10:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. one Sunday a month
(except for December when the brunch will be suspended).
The upcoming brunch schedule is Oct. 14, Nov. 11, Jan. 13, Feb.
10, March 10, April 14, May 19 and June 9.
"We keep trying to add to our plan to get locals to come to
Waikiki and enhance the visitor experience," said Peter Apo,
director of the city's Office of Waikiki Development.
"We're trying to create a nice Hawaiian experience with music,
hula and food provided by Waikiki hotels and restaurants."
The brunches provide seating for 450 people, and Apo said he
expects to have two seatings per session.
But visitors participating in the brunch don't have to eat at
the tables; they can take their breakfast and coffee to the beach
or walk around with it, said Apo.
Prices are set by each vendor, said Apo, "but the agreement is
that prices will be nominal. No one is going to make money on
Apo said the city is spending $4,000 on each event, with the
balance funded by the private sector.
Ernie Watari, chairman of PKF-Hawaii, a tourism consulting firm,
said the brunch is the type of event Waikiki needs to keep up its
"The Waikiki Brunch is the kind of creative program the visitor
industry needs to continue and expand [in order to] maintain
competitiveness in the marketplace," said Watari, in his monthly
review of hospitality industry statistics.