by Dave Mark, student writer
|Over the past month, the curtain has slowly risen
on the much-anticipated Outrigger Waikiki Beach Walk on Lewers
Street. Actually, the curtain is only half-way up, but the results
Gone are the concrete sidewalks leading to rowdy crowds at The
Red Lion and The Irish Rose. The 8-acre project, which started
renovations in April 2005 and officially opened on Jan. 2, is
the largest redevelopment in Waikiki history. It is anchored
by five hotels; the Outrigger Reef, the Embassy Suites, the Ohana
Islander, the future Trump Tower, and the Wyndham Timeshares.
Outrigger, Wyndham, and Embassy are currently open for business.
The only unaltered building on Lewers Street is The Imperial
of Waikiki. The new Beach Walk connects nicely with the refurbished
Royal Hawaiian Shopping Center.
At the base of the new Embassy Suites is ultra-contemporary,
new three-story shopping and dining area. With gorgeous landscaping
and tiki torches lighting up the night, the S-shape of the new
building leaves it unrecognizable from its past. Many shops are
already open, and most of the eateries are in their final phase
A stroll down the lane will show Waikiki staples such as Maui
Divers and ABC store, and also new boutiques such as Oasis Lifestyle,
Tabora Art Gallery, and Head to Toe. The requisite surf shop
is there, with Volcom and Sunshine Swimwear ready to outfit tourists
for their ocean experience. Some food items are available, with
Beard Papa’s offering pastries and desserts, and Mondo
Gelato, which opened Jan. 1, offering a healthier take on the
Coldstone Creamery experience.
Restaurants will be moving in shortly, with some high-end eats
on the menu. Roy’s Hawai‘i, Ruths Chris Steak House,
Holokai Grill, and Kaiwa Waikiki are finishing up construction.
The Yard House, boasting a bar and large restaurant, opened Feb.
11 in the Wyndham building.
Visitors Ray and Colleen Warmouth left the building’s fourth
floor after enjoying an evening of Hawaiian music. An escalator
tucked in a corner of the lobby is the final approach to the
top level with a huge rooftop pool and lounge area that is easy
to overlook because it extends from the corner of the shopping
area all the way behind the new Embassy Suites, which opened
Dec. 18. A band entertains the crowd while a waterfall, pool,
and hot tub set the mood.
The new Beach Walk should be a welcome addition to the revitalized
Waikiki. A bartender at the Embassy Suites pool bar said, “I
had some good times getting crazy at Red Lion, but I’m
also really looking forward to the new upscale atmosphere.”
More information on future opening dates and maps of the area,
• The Beach Walk Tower is expected to have 300 to
400 residential units and cost $200 million.
• The project features a combination
of 40 specialty retailers, four major restaurants, entertainment
venues, vocation ownership, and four world-recognized hotels.
• The old Ohana Reef Towers located
at 227 Lewers Street will be converted following a $56
million renovation to Fairfield Hawai‘i at Waikiki
Beach Walk including a 195-unit vacation ownership with
96 one-bedroom units, 83 two-bedroom, and 17 two-, three-
and four-bedroom luxurious presidential suites.