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On Oahu's North Shore, a new marketplace summons the past

The new Hukilau Marketplace on Oahu's North Shore creates a vibe from the '30s in the retail/dining complex

The retro Hukilau Marketplace, Oahu’s newest retail and dining center, is set to open Friday, Feb. 20, although a handful of shops at the North Shore complex are already welcoming customers.

The marketplace is in the town of Laie, about an hour’s drive from Honolulu and is adjacent to the Polynesian Cultural Center, which showcases life on the various islands of the Pacific.

The marketplace, which has more than 40 retail and dining options,  highlights the history of the oceanfront community. (The word "hukilau" is a a traditional method of fishing.) Storefronts are designed to replicate the look of Laie during the plantation era of the 1930s. Many of the businesses are run by people with deep roots in the area.

Tourists seeking souvenirs will want to stop at Laie General Store. It also sells local snacks such as crack seed, a sweet and sometimes salty or sour preserved fruit treat popular with many Hawaiians.

Other shops include Jaseboards, a North Shore-based skateboard company, and Nona’s Tropical Threads, a clothing store named for Nona Warner, a former seamstress at the neighboring Polynesian Cultural Center.

Local lunch and dinner favorites will be available at Pounders, a restaurant named after a nearby beach.

The marketplace, 55-370 Kahmehameha Highway, is open 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Mondays- Saturdays. It’s closed Sundays; like its neighbor, it’s owned by the Mormon church.

There’s no charge to visit the marketplace. Parking is also free.

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