While still attending U.S.C. in 1951, we would drive to Laguna Beach for a day at the beach and dinner at the Royal Hawaiian. Navy Grogs, “Wiki Wiki” steaks, a salad with a wonderful dressing, and flaming ice cream volcanos for desert; all at a price Don could afford ( guys paid in those days). Occasionally there was a Hula dancer swaying to a soft Guitar, a Uke, and a String Bass. In it’s later years the decor began to show its’ age. (We did too.) It needed some big time attention. Our patronage lasted for half a century until Jr. ( Cabang) left and the Royal Hawaiian’s reputation went with him. What memories ! It wasn’t ever again to be a cozy restaurant with a chummy small bar. That’s the past. The Royal Hawaiian was to become another big bar that served food.
Maybe some local bar / restaurants could learn something form the demise of the Royal Hawaiian. It wasn’t late night loud music that brought the Cabang family and their restaurant success, but a reputation for dependably good food, served in quite ambiance by a friendly staff, at reasonable prices.
Aloha, “Hula Hut”.
Carita and Don Knapp, Laguna Beach