After nearly 57 years of selling handmade, dim-sum style porkhash, noodles, mochi and manapua, Libby Manapua Shop in Kalihi closed without notice Saturday, shocking patrons who had frequented the takeout place since their small-kid days.
After hearing through friends and social media that the mom-and-pop operation that opened in 1962 would shut it doors for good, a line of about 100 people began to wrap around the corner outside the shop at 410 Kalihi St. to buy porkhash for 95 cents each and pork manapua for $1.95.
The Libby’s owners were mum about the sudden closure and the business’s website makes no mention of it.
Customer Melissa Lishman, 31, said she has distinct memories of her mom bringing home Libby’s steamed porkhash on the weekends. She said shealways wanted to bring her 8-year-old son to Libby Manapua so he could get a taste of her childhood.
“I never brought my son to Libby’s ever,” Lishman said. “So we’re actually here today so that he can try it.”
Mililani resident April Kanohokula, who had been going to Libby since she was a little girl, said that when she heard it was closing, she tried to call to find out if the news was true but was unable to get through.
Kanohokula said she immediately drove down to Kalihi to see for herself.
“It’s upsetting,” she said. “I feel like the community is what kept them open all these years and it’s kind of like a slap in the face to the community members to not say anything.”
There were no signs posted on the doors indicating Saturday would be its last day, but Libby employees were giving out free merchandise to some of the people standing in line, according to Kanohokula.