Kaua‘i Chamber ‘rocks’ Rice Street

LIHU‘E — Rice Street small businesses would not have been able to organize a block party event by themselves, said Randy Francisco, president of the Kaua‘i Chamber of Commerce, Thursday.

Sponsored by the Kaua‘i Government Employees Federal Credit Union, the Kaua‘i Chamber of Commerce coordinated its Summer ‘11 Block Party, “Chamber Rocks Our Block Off.”

The Kaua‘i Chamber of Commerce Business After Hours event attracted more than 125 guests, many of whom are members of the Chamber, to enjoy the wares and fares of the 14 hosting businesses and organizations. The group worked with KGEFCU and the Chamber to throw a block party, which was held in the parking garage of KGEFCU and close to the participating businesses.

Hosts included Aloha Furniture, Baby Blutique, BackStreet Billiards, Buddha Boutique, H. Hawai‘i Media, IT Kaua‘i, Kaua‘i Toyota, Kustom Sounds Kaua‘i, Lifestyles Boutique, Noguchi and Associates, Photo Spectrum and Richie’s Bar and Grill.

“Many of the members have not been into any of the three stores (fronting Rice Street),” Francisco said. “This was the first time for a lot of them, so it’s good exposure.”

Francisco was referring to the Lifestyles Boutique, a consignment store that features a lot more than consignment items, the Budha Boutique that featured a special discount for the two-hour event, and cupcakes from Westy Kessler and Sugar Mill Cupcakes, and the Baby Blutique.

“We’ve seen people pass by and remark about the quality of the window displays,” said Gloria Cataluna, owner and operator of Lifestyles Boutique. “It’s nice to have them come in and see what’s behind the displays.”

Mike Dandurand of Kustom Sounds Kaua‘i DJ made sure his crew had everything under control before rolling off to another gig, the mobile sound outlet drawing on the services of FM97’s on-air personality Jason Fujinaka to man the mobile disco setup in KGEFCU’s garage.

The broadcast capability was extended with Anthony DeFazio of H. Hawai‘i Media doing a remote broadcast of the event on Rooster Country.

“It’s good to see these small neighboring businesses actually talking to each other,” Francisco said. “When they band together, they can do a lot.”

Richard Apeles of BackStreet Billiards said he has been in his location for three years, taking time to provide rates to an inquiring representative of IT Kaua‘i.

“This is only the second block party we have done,” Francisco said. “The first one was in Hanapepe. There’s one more I would like to do. The third one will be in Waimea centering around the Hofgaard Park.”

Visit www.kauaichamber.org for more information on the Kaua‘i Chamber of Commerce.

• Dennis Fujimoto, photographer and staff writer, can be reached at 245-3681 (ext. 253) or dfujimoto@ thegardenisland.com.

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