‘Ohana / Kakaako, that 600-acre chunk of beachfront property between Punchbowl and Piikoi Streets, wants you to “discover it” again, this time with the help of Ward Centers. Katie Kaanapu, senior marketing manager for Ward Centers, says they “want to really highlight the various things that Ward Centers has to offer,” which is a lot, considering that Ward is made up of five different shopping neighborhoods, including Ward Warehouse, the Village Shops, Ward Gateway (where Ross is), the theater and entertainment center and the Marukai Market. The Realm of Ward also crosses the Avenue into BJ Penn Gym territory, with shops like Fishcake and Box Jelly.
Discover Kakaako will be a monthly event, occurring at Ward Centers on the second Saturday of each month, featuring the best the complex has to offer. Saturday’s kick-off will showcase models wearing clothes from boutiques such as Cottage by the Sea and Basique Threads, as well as a fashion show held in conjunction with the upcoming Alfred Shaheen vintage aloha wear exhibit (soon to open at the Bishop Museum), food trucks–nearly as synonymous to Kakaako these days as warehouses and “rejuvination”–and several art displays, including a nice collaboration between the Hawaii Fashion Incubator and The Fine Arts Associates called “Off The Cuff.”
Part of a larger “Discover the Islands” movement that wants to recognize the unique features of area neighborhoods, Kaanapu says the Kakaako event “is a good fit for us [because] we have a lot of variety to offer, every single month.” When you factor in Ward’s fashion, music and food trucks with food samplings from Z Pizza, Island Olive Oil and Rainbowtique, Kaanapu isn’t kidding when she says Discover Kakaako is already “turning into a pretty big thing.”