Bye bye, center stage! Familiar platform now a pile of rubble

Princesses have been crowned here. Babies have won trophies. Future Hawaii superstars have sung their hearts out as unknowns, just for the exposure.

It’s all happened on Kukui Grove’s Center Stage ever since the island’s largest shopping center opened in July 1982.

But at the close of operations Monday night, a Caterpillar crane lumbered into the area where thousands of residents and visitors have enjoyed countless performances over the last 21 years. On Tuesday, customers found the familiar center stage area minus its roof and the crane sitting placidly on the center stage slab.

Mary Daubert, Kukui Grove Shopping Center’s marketing director, said the demolition is part of the center’s ongoing remodeling. Eventually a roof will cover the span between the McDonald’s Express restaurant and Sears.

The center-stage concept is also on the way out. Soon shows at Kukui Grove Center will be held on a portable stage protected by the new roof that can be set up according to the size of the act being hosted, Daubert said.

During the two to three months of the construction phase, Daubert said, tables used by food court patrons are being relocated under the covered eaves of the newly-completed section of the mall.

Daubert is also considering adding more seating in the recently-opened walkway near the entrance to Star Market.

Entertainment, such as this weekend’s ukulele festival celebrating Father’s Day, is being relocated during the construction phase to the exhibit area fronting the main DejaVu store. This temporary move will also affect an upcoming Chili Cookoff; the cookoff is being moved from Kauai Village to Kukui Grove.

Some mall stores are being relocated during the new phase of construction. The Kauai Products Store is currently finishing up its relocation to the new Star Market walkway site, with a possible reopening by this weekend. Dollar Plus is working on offering an expanded line of products to Kauai shoppers during its move, Daubert said; its owners are expected to be open by Friday in their new larger location at the site formerly occupied by Paradise Fun.

These relocations set the stage for creating a new Lihue-side entrance to the mall near the Macy’s, with the anticipated arrival of Jamba Juice and Starbucks Coffee anchoring the new customer entryway.

Shioi Construction, Inc. is the general contractor for the project.


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