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The Forty Niner Restaurant is located on a 9,096 square foot parcel on Honomanu Street where Aiea Heights meets Kamehameha Highway. The single-story restaurant is easily viewed from the heavily trafficked highway and has served as an iconic landmark since its inception in 1947. The exterior walls are comprised of stuccoed concrete masonry units (CMU) with concrete overhangs covering the sidewalk along Honomanu Street. The simplistic style of the Forty Niner lends itself to the International Style that was common in Hawaii after World War II. The Forty Niner Restaurant is significant for its association with the efforts of post World War II Nisei (second generation Japanese-Americans) who were determined to improve their standard of living, did not return to the plantations, and instead became entrepreneurs. In this vein, Mr. Richard Kiyoshi Chagami, who had served in the 442nd Regimental Combat Team, started the Forty Niner and catered to his loyal customers with locally favorites such as saimin. The restaurant is also significant as an example of the International Style. The style, which drew heavy influence from Bauhaus architecture, transcended to a uniquely Hawaiian style with the addition of cultural elements.
This list of Hawaii’s historic properties is provided as a public service by Historic Hawaii Foundation. It is not the official list of properties designated on the Hawaii State Register of Historic Places. For official designations and determinations of eligibility, contact the State Historic Preservation Division of the Department of Land and Natural Resources of the State of Hawaii at 808-692-8015.