The venerable Antique Alley will be forced to close its doors if its owners do not find an affordable shop to house mounds of collectibles and cultural artifacts.
After 25 years in the same location on Kapiolani Boulevard near Piikoi Street, Pake Zane and Julie Lauster recently received an eviction notice in the mail to evacuate the space in 30 days.
“I pleaded to get 90 days, but in the best of worlds I would like six months,” said Zane, adding that his “head is spinning.”
The property owner is raising rent from around $3,000 a month to close to $8,000 a month with a vendor willing and ready to move in. Property manager Linda Black declined to comment.
“What a disaster,” said Ian Lind, a long time customer and friend of Zane and Lauster. “This is a center of cultural preservation of modern culture and the stuff people grew up with. Pake and Julie have both been exemplary translators of that.”
Anyone who has visited the shop has witnessed the volumes of vintage Hawaiiana items that has been packed in there, layer after layer, from the ground to the ceiling, leaving only a tiny path way to walk on.
Zane, who Civil Beat recently profiled in our FOCUS series, says he has created the ultimate “cultural recycling project” — taking unused items and turning them into money. It’s a literal example that one man’s trash is another man’s treasure.
“He’s a true expert and a true amateur. The traditional word of being amateur comes from the word love and he loves the stuff that he sells,” said David Ginsburg, a collector, film producer and Law school professor. “If that store closes it will be closing part of an era of the history of Hawaii.”
Zane has unsuccessfully looked at a couple new spots for their shop, including a dog grooming shop they would share the space with.
“I can’t imagine sharing a space with dogs and cats, all that barking and meowing,” Zane said with a chuckle.
“It’s not like gathering up 40 pairs of shoes, each thing is different and I have to store it or protect it,” Zane said.
After a week of begging, Zane and Lauster received 30 additional days to move out. They plan to use the extra month to pack up and put what is left in storage.
The shop will be having a sale until they close their doors on the last day of May.
After that, Zane and Lauster plan to use the store’s closing as an opportunity to take a three-month break.
“We haven’t had more than a week break since 2008,” said Zane, a seasoned world traveller.
But he said the long-term goal remains to reopen their “museum,” where everything is for sale.
REPORTING ON HAWAII’S BIGGEST ISSUES
A good reason not to give
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Born and raised in Honolulu, Alana Hong has been scuba diving since age 5. She enjoys traveling, but always finds herself back in the islands she will forever call home. She currently works in Hawaii's film industry on various projects, most recently in the prop department on "Last Resort." On the weekends she can be found in the water with her camera and fins or brainstorming ideas with her creative friends.