Heights Drive Inn in Aiea has closed after 39 years of serving local-style plate lunches that many a customer washed down with a sweet, citrusy Green River soft drink.
The restaurant was at the base of the Aiea Medical Building at 99-128 Aiea Heights Drive, across from Aiea Shopping Center, just above Moanalua Road.
“Six months ago I had to tell my workers there’s no other choice,” owner Enid Okubo said. She wanted to be fair to her employees, some of them who had been with the company for decades.
Okubo asked them to keep it a secret, but this is Hawaii, and word leaked out. Heights Drive Inn was besieged, as people thought the closure was imminent. For months. Seven days a week.
Okubo had planned to close Dec. 15, or whenever the food ran out. The last day turned out to be Sunday, and now a sign posted outside addresses loyal customers: “For many years you have been a vital part of our lives. We will miss you.”
Okubo asked that nothing be published until after the closure.
For more on the venerable drive-in see Wednesday’s Crave section.