Dining in is now an option

  • Dennis Fujimoto/The Garden Island

    Uncle John Kaneholani enjoys an assortment of Jamba Juice, Tuesday on one of the ‘new’ planters that were re-worked during the slowdown created by the COVID-19 pandemic.

  • Dennis Fujimoto/The Garden Island

    Jessica Tangonan of Genki Sushi offers the option of dine-in, or take out, Tuesday at the eatery at the Kukui Grove Center.

LIHU‘E — The dine-in food court area at Kukui Grove Center is still closed off, said Melissa McFerrin-Warrack, the shopping center’s manager for specialty leasing and marketing.

“David Sosner, the Kukui Grove general manager, is checking with the mayor, and the Department of Health to see if the dine-in area is part of the emergency rule and confirmation before opening the area,” McFerrin-Warrack said.

“We have a staff meeting to work out the logistics of social distancing before opening up the food court for dining again.”

Genki Sushi, with the return of dine-in service according to health and safety guidelines, including face masks, is one of several restaurants offering the option of dine-in or take out.

“They were thrilled to find out they could open,” McFerrin-Warrack said. “The opening brings them back to their regular hours of 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Sundays to Thursdays, 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays. They’re the first restaurant in the shopping center to bring family dinners back because of the return to normal hours.”

Due to health and safety and social distancing, seating is now spread out, and waiting is still done outside on one of the planters that received new stone work facia during the slowdown at the mall.

The Deli &Bread Connection also allows diners in its dining area, and Aloha Ramen allows diners to use its room to enjoy their orders — hot.

“There is something about enjoying the hot dish right after it’s served,” McFerrin-Warrack said. “I’m lucky because I can take it back to my office. Others have to wait until they get it home. It’s just not the same.”

Kim Chee No. 9 also returns to its normal operating hours of 10:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily. Friday night hours are to 9 p.m.

Uncle John Kaneholani had his ‘ohana in tow Tuesday, making a stop at Jamba Juice before escaping the afternoon heat under the shade of a kukui nut tree in one of the new, stone-worked planters with some of his nieces showing their skill at being able to enjoy the cool treat with their face masks on.

The expanded hours set the stage for the World Ocean Day weekend, McFerrin-Warrack said.

“We still have the Kaua‘i Ocean Discovery trying to open,” she said. “But, in the same vein as the First Friday Speaker Series, they are offering a Hawai‘i manta ray webinar with Mark Deakos, a regular visitor to Kaua‘i to help lead research on humpback whales.”

Pre-registration for this free webinar is required, and the link to the National Marine Sanctuaries Webinar Series can be found by visitingkukuigrovecenter.com and clicking the “Register” button on the webinar description.

The webinar is free and open to anyone with Internet connections on Friday, starting at noon.

The Kaua‘i Ocean Discovery will also celebrate World Oceans Day — Monday — by partnering with the state Department of Land and Natural Resources Division of Aquatic Resources to distribute free learning kits from noon until 2 p.m., or while supplies last.

The kits focus on pono fishing and are appropriate for a range of ages. They include fishing coloring and activity books, pono fishing brochure, fish-identification guides, rulers to measure fish length, tide calendars, bookmarks, stickers and more.

The pre-assembled kits will be distributed from a table fronting the Kaua‘i Ocean Discovery, and any remaining kits after 2 p.m. will be distributed for free at Deja Vu Surf Hawai‘i in KGC.

The Kaua‘i Society of Artists’ second edition of the Washed Marine Debris Art Show 2020 will be open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. at the KSA Gallery on World Oceans Day. Co-sponsored with the Surfrider Foundation of Kaua‘i, the show opens Saturday from noon to 4 p.m. and is available for viewing daily through June 26.

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