You’d Think Honolulu Would Have Lots of Sidewalk Cafes, But You’d Be Wrong

City planners hoping to make Honolulu a more walkable city are trying to change an old rule that bans sidewalks cafes in most parts of town.
By Chrystèle Bossu-Ragis /

On a gorgeous day just made for sitting outside, Civil Beat reporter Anita Hofschneider and podcast producer Chrystele Bossu-Ragis went in search of a rare Honolulu treat — a sidewalk cafe.

It turns out that an obscure city ordinance — one planning official has no idea when or how it came to pass — bans sidewalk cafes everywhere except Waikiki and Kakaako.

Now, city planners are hoping to get that rule revised for other areas of the city — at least those near planned rail stations. And, from the sound of it, restaurant owners and their patrons will be very happy.

Hit the play button to hear the discussion or subscribe to the Civil Beat Podcast on iTunes.

Click here for a related story about the proposed changes that could include more sidewalk cafes.

Honolulu’s version of a sidewalk cafe is something like these benches outside Cocina restaurant in Kakaako.

Cory Lum/Civil Beat

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