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Gecko Books and Comics in Kaimuki closing for good tonight

  • COURTESY GECKO BOOKS & COMICS
                                Gecko Books and Comics store will close after 34 years in Kaimuki.

    COURTESY GECKO BOOKS & COMICS

    Gecko Books and Comics store will close after 34 years in Kaimuki.

The Gecko Books and Comics store will close its doors tonight after 34 years in business in Kaimuki, according to owner Ted Mays, due to challenges related to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The store on 12th Avenue has for years been a go-to for shoppers looking to buy comics and comics-related merchandise, along with toys, games, trading cards, board games and other collectibles.

“We’re the last cool, funky store left in Kaimuki,” said Mays, who plans to move to the U.S. mainland to spend time with his grandkids. “So that’s pretty much it.”

The second stay-at-home order which closed down his store, Mays said, was like “the final nail in the coffin.”

“That was brutal,” he said. “We’re still kind of reeling from that.”

Gecko has been holding a closeout sale this month, and will close its doors for good at 9 p.m.

In addition to Gecko Books, other small businesses that have closed in Kaimuki include Surf’ N Hula, a Hawaii collectible and Hawaiiana antique store in mid-June.

The Pillbox Pharmacy, one of the last few remaining independent pharmacies in the state, will close its doors at 11th Avenue after 46 years in business on Nov. 14.

Melissa Bow of the Kaimuki Professional Business Association said a hair salon in the neighborhood has also closed down, the popular Koko Head Cafe has not yet reopened, and many small businesses are still struggling.

“It’s really important now, more than ever, to support small businesses,” she said. “A lot of people think you need to buy things, which is great, but there are other ways people can support small businesses.”

Some ways people can help, she said, include using cash to save small businesses from credit card fees, purchasing gift cards, offering a little extra, and recommending the places to friends and family, or sharing their posts on social media.

Correction: An earlier version of this story misspelled Ted Mays' name.

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