The new Whole Foods Market at 9 a.m. today in Kakaako is the biggest of the four in the state — at 72,000 square feet it dwarfs the original Kahala store’s space (28,000) and the Down to Earth that opened two weeks ago a few blocks away (13,000).
Called Whole Foods Market Queen, for nearby Queen Street, the store is a two-level structure with full-service bars on both floors.
It includes features that set it apart, not just in Hawaii, but in the region that includes California, Las Vegas and Arizona:
>> Whole Foods Market Queen Preview Day photo gallery: https://808ne.ws/2jFIuBo
>> Whole Foods Market Queen Preview Day video: https://808ne.ws/2wqfS8n
>> The largest hot bar in the region: With 43 choices, including smoked meat and macaroni-and-cheese sections (think mac made with pork belly; roasted tomato-spinach; jalapeno; brisket; and more).
>> Sugar-cane juice: Pressed fresh in the store and sold in bottles.
>> Two Tides Bar: 24 beers on tap, including exclusive Waikiki Brewing Co. brews.
>> A specialty liquor case: With lighting that makes the premium wines, Champagnes and whiskeys seem to glow.
>> La Tour Cafe and Lanikai Juice: Both local eateries have kiosks within Whole Foods. The store also features vegan menu items from Juicy Brew.
>> Also: Not exclusive to Kakaako, but worth mentioning are self-serve bins offering mochi ice cream and macarons, and a self-serve poke station.
>> And just because: Prominently displayed is a new line of products under the chain’s 365 Everyday Value brand — kochujang-flavored chips, ketchup, mustard and marinade.
Whole Foods Queen is at 388 Kamakee St., in the Ward Villages complex behind Consolidated Theaters Ward 16. Parking in the building is free for two hours. Hours are 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily. Call 379-1800.