Let’s Talk Food: Coronavirus is affecting us all

Never in my lifetime has something brought us to our knees as the coronavirus has. We are weary of going out shopping, even to the grocery store.

But being cautious at this time is important so we do not spread the virus.


The economic effect to small businesses will be tremendous during this time. Changing hours of several shopping malls will affect the businesses situated there; changes in coffee shops, with no sitting but take out orders only; and when told not to go out, restaurants are going to suffer or close during this period.

Alan Wong’s Restaurants, which had its last night of service March 18 before temporarily closing in according with Gov. David Ige’s request, sent out a great and appropriate email before making the decision to close called “Be Smart, Be Safe and Be Well.” Here are some excerpts from the email:

Things can always be better, things can always be worse, let’s appreciate what we have today.”

This is one of my favorite sayings: No one could have predicted the circumstances we live in today. Everywhere you turn, the television news, the papers, the internet, we see a lot of gloom and doom that creates fear.

Let us not let fear be the main thing that drives our decisions and perspective. We need to be optimistic, have faith and hope that one day soon, we will see better days. Businesses in our community will continue to operate. Now is the time to support local.

“Kipuka” in Hawaii serves as a respite, an escape for relief and rejuvenation: much like a restaurant, which by definition means to “restore.” It is our staff, where happy memories continue to be made and enrich our lives.

We cannot allow fear to paralyze us, but it is our kuleana to be prudent and work what we can control …

Be smart — make smart decisions about travel abroad and large social events.

Be safe — practice good hygiene and sanitation. Wash, rinse and repeat. Greet everyone with a smile, just as good as a hug!

Be well — get your flu shot, keep your throat hydrated, stay at home if you’re sick, eat right and get sufficient rest.

Fear arises from uncertainty and not knowing what to expect. …

We live in paradise and still have so much beauty to be thankful for, and generations of local businesses whose livelihood will need support. Now, more than ever, let’s come together as a community and take care of our kupuna and keiki, our neighbors, and support each other in these uncertain times. We are thankful, and we are hopeful.

Live life to the max, gang, and don’t forget to smell the pineapples!

Signed by Chef Alan Wong and his staff.

In its closure announcement, the restaurant offered its thanks to guests.

“We would like to extend our most sincere thank you to all of the guests that had reservations in the next couple of weeks,” the announcement said. “This has been an unpredictable time, and we are grateful for everyone’s understanding as we all navigate this together. Our team is personally reaching out to each and every one of you that had plans to dine with us, and we hope we will be able to see you again soon. Please stay tuned to our e-blast and social media, as we will let you know when we are able to resume service.

“Thank you for your kindness and support. We are fortunate to be part of a community that cares.”

AlohaMondays put this out during these times:


We value and greatly appreciate our customers and community. Here at AlohaMondays, we are implementing the following practices in effort and commitment in keeping our customers, employees and community safe.

Social distancing/sanitation

• Order ahead as usual and we will bring your order to your car or outside the kitchen.

• Please text 747-1873 when you arrive.

• We appreciate your patience as the process will take us a bit longer.

• Park safely and be courteous of others.

• Parking is available in the parking lot and along the roadside past the two kitchen doors.

• Please do not park in front of the kitchen doors.

• If an employee is not feeling well he/she will stay home.

• In the kitchen, employees will keep hands washed, sanitized and use gloves appropriately. Food handling surfaces will by fully sanitized throughout the day.

• The Kitchen entrance, for now, will be for employees and product deliveries only.

• All utensils will be an individually sealed pack of compostible fork/knife and napkin.

• We still offer deliveries and ask that you allow for flexibility on time. With anticipation of an increase in this service, there will be no charge in Hilo for orders of more than $75.

• Please plan to meet our delivery vehicle outside your location.


Please note on your order form your payment preferences:

• Credit card — invoice so you can make payment from home or the office via Square. If you want to pay upon pickup with credit card, we will bring our phone or iPad out with your order to process. It will be sanitized per use.

• Check — please prepare ahead.

• Cash — please have the exact amount in an envelope with your name written on it. For health purposes, we will not be giving change at the kitchen or on deliveries. All cash will be processed in our office at the end of the day. Extra will go to our employee tip pool or less amounts will be invoiced.

We appreciate your understanding in this matter.

General community safety

We as a team will make every effort to keep our takeout and catering business going while practicing safety measures for our community, employees and customers.

• Kanoa and Geana are committed to limit all social exposure to business and at home family needs only.

• Geana is happy to take anyone’s questions at geana@alohamondays.com

• We will operate the best we can as long as it proves safe to do so.

Mahalo nui loa,

Kanoa, Geana and Da Alohamondays Team


I have seen on Facebook that Cronies, Liko Lehua, Cafe 100, Hilo Bay Cafe and Hilo Burger Joint have takeout or even curbside service. I also saw that Moon and Turtle is closing. Please support our local businesses during these tough times.

Be safe during these uncertain times. This, too, will pass, and one day we will be able to eat together, drink together and hug each other again!

Nonfood note


I have seen “cancelled” or “canceled” a lot lately … which is correct? They both are. Apparently Americans prefer “canceled” and Brits prefer “cancelled.”

Email Audrey Wilson at audreywilson808@gmail.com.

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