The festival had to leave its longstanding site at 555 South Street with construction set to begin on Keahou Lane, a condominium development by Stanford Carr and Kamehameha Schools. For the next “Eat the Street,” the event will move to Kakaako Gateway Park.
But the park is a popular gathering place for homeless people, and the state went as far as to say that it was hoping the popular festival would drive them away. Street Grindz told KHON: “We have no intention of displacing the homeless community or removing them permanently. Street Grindz is merely renting the park space from HCDA for one day each month.”
While April’s “Eat the Street” will still happen at the park, the new agreement with OHA will allow “Eat the Street” to explore ways to make use of the site of the former Fisherman’s Wharf at the bottom of Ward Avenue beginning this summer. The official OHA press release follows:
The Office of Hawaiian Affairs announced today it is leasing the lot that formerly housed Fisherman’s Wharf to Street Grindz, LLC. The agreement provides Street Grindz with interim access rights for daily activities at the site, while OHA prepares a master plan for the use of the 30 acres of land it owns in Kaka‘ako Makai.
For the last few months, Street Grindz has been diligently working with MoJo – The Business of Food, and actively collaborating with OHA planning and conceptualizing future plans for Kaka’ako Makai. “We are fortunate that OHA is on board with our concept for the space, giving us the opportunity to go back to our roots of supporting local, small businesses while focusing on our passion for sustainability in Hawai‘i” said Poni Askew, Owner and CEO of Street Grindz.
“Street Grindz has created exciting and interesting dining concepts,” said Kamana‘opono Crabbe, Ka Pouhana (CEO) of OHA. “This interim use will help make our Kaka‘ako Makai lands a gathering place while we continue to work on a master plan for future development.”
Plans for construction will begin as soon as April, with an expected completion date this summer. Askew said, “A lot of the inspiration for our concept draws from our experiences with markets and dining around the world and in the US. You’ll just have to watch it all unfold in the next couple of months.”
Updated to clarify that “Eat the Street” will still take place at Kakaako Gateway Park in April. Photo illustration courtesy OHA.