Royal Hawaiian Closure



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

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  1. I will miss the Royal Hawaiian. Lots of good memories. Me and my Landlady back in the late seventy’s use to get take out from them. The food was so good. I used to eat there on dates. We lost a good restaurant that had been here for along time.

  2. Until Laguna’s city government adopts policy to support local businesses, more businesses will close. As less and less business revenue is collected, more and more parking fees and citations will be issued to pay for city services. Laguna residents will bear the burden of those penalties. Sounds like a Draconian business plan doesn’t it? It’s ours!


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