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Megs Drive-In closing in Kalihi

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Megs Drive-In

Megs Drive-In is set to close Dec. 17.

Another sign of the times, an old-school takeout restaurant that's fed workers in Oahu's industrial district for decades is now throwing in the towel.

KALIHI, Hawaii (KITV4) -- It's the end of an era for Megs Drive-In.

After 55 years in Kalihi, the mom-and-pop take out restaurant's closing its doors for good Dec. 17.

For the past 20 years, Loida Ogihara's been helping run the family business started by her husband's uncle in 1966.

She said she's been working 16-hour days just trying to get by as the cost of food and other products skyrocket -- a main reason the family decided not to renew the restaurant's lease expiring next month.

"I cannot keep on working knowing all these prices are so high that I don't think I can make it you know," Ogihara said. "Not unless I got to keep raising the prices and I don't want to do that to my regular customers."

She said costs have nearly doubled over the past 18 months.

"LIke the vegetable oil that used to be $24 now is like $40-something in just a year and a half," she added. "Wings that was only $50, now it's like $90 a box. How can I do that? It's just too much."

Ogihara said closing a staple in the community's not easy -- especially because her longtime customers helped her stay in business throughout the pandemic.

"It's bittersweet for me because I'm going to lose all my friends," she said. "When I'm free I usually sit down and have breakfast with them when they're here. So it became like really close family."

Leslie Au's been eating at Megs since his days at Farrington High School in the1960s.

"Actually we're losing all the good restaurants," Au said. "Not the old local restaurants anymore. Just sad everything's going fast food. Microwave age."

Sharon Akana orders take out at least three times a week.

"The proportions are great, the cost is good, it's just hard to beat," Akana said. "It's local food, real 'ono. We are family. Love them very dearly."

Longtime customers said they're saddened that they have to find another place to get their favorite plate lunches or as Ogihara says ... learn to cook.

Produced in partnership with the Economic Hardship Reporting Project.

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