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McDonald's Restaurant

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1965. 55-400 Kamehameha Hwy.

Situated next to the Polynesian Cultural Center, this McDonald's is a striking deviation from the national chain's standard restaurant form, with its New Zealand men's house motifs, carved rafters, and bargeboards. It is an adaptive reuse of the former restaurant that served the Polynesian Cultural Center; as McDonald's, it opened in February 1984.

Drive-in restaurants in Hawaii date from the 1920s, but unfortunately, such pioneering institutions as Kapiolani Drive-In, Kau Kau Korner, and K. C. Drive-In no longer stand. McDonald's did not arrive in Hawaii until 1969. The company's first restaurants in Hawaii responded to Hawaiian regional design with double-pitched hipped roofs, as witnessed by the first two locations in Aina Haina (demolished) and Palolo on Oahu.

Writing Credits

Don J. Hibbard


What's Nearby


Don J. Hibbard, "McDonald's Restaurant", [Laie, Hawaii], SAH Archipedia, eds. Gabrielle Esperdy and Karen Kingsley, Charlottesville: UVaP, 2012—,

Print Source

Cover: Buildings of Hawaii

Buildings of Hawaii, Don J. Hibbard. Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press, 2011, 174-175.

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