Zippy’s – Happy 47th Anniversary
Found this last night on Face Book:
Ahh, Zippys! The ultimate hangout. So many memories.
I remember when the McCully Zippys was the only Zippys in town. The night was not complete without checking in at Zippys. If not to eat, at least pulling into the driveway and taking the cruise around the Saimin Lanai restaurant – taking your time driving slowly over the speed-bumps – especially if you had a hot rod as all the heads from the restaurant would peer out the window the check out your car.
Some nights we’d park at Zippys and hang out by our cars and listen for the souped up Novas, Chevys, Camaros, etc. cruising on King Street and pulling into Zippys. The rumble of the headers and the marbles-rolling-around sound of a racing cam. And every once in a while – the whiny sound of someone with gear-drive. The best was watching the Mopars and Chevys coming in with the bench seats and the guy’s chick sitting “cut seat“.
And when the hot rods pulled out of Zippys, it wasn’t cool to “burn out” on King Street. Nope. Nobody had to prove that their car was cherry. If anything, the ‘rods would pull out casually and maybe give a little “chirp” of the tires when shifting into second.
Zippys, for us – wasn’t really a place to bring your girl. It was a place to cruise with your friends – and run into other people – maybe a bunch of chicks (or guys) you remember meeting at a social. Back in those days – when we didn’t have cell phones or pagers – if you lost your friends while cruising Waikiki or Hotel Street, the protocol was that if we got split up, we meet at Zippys.
Trivia question: What bakery was right next door to Zippys? (of course we’re talking about the McCully one). It later became the Zippys corporate office.
Remember the bathroom? It was located on the Ewa side of the building, next to the walk-in reefers. People from the saimin lanai who wanted to use the bathroom would have to walk though the restaurant’s back door only to find themselves outside next to the reefers sharing the same bathroom.
And the Saimin Lanai was NOT the biggest dining room. The line used to be right outside the door on the little porch and down the steps. And when it started to rain, everyone tried to cram on the little entrance so as not to get wet.
And just a ways in pass the cash register area was the jukebox! And I remember the cool thing about the set up was that the Saimin Lanai had either KKUA, KIKI, or KPOI playing on their sound system. And as soon as someone started playing something from the jukebox, the radio broadcast was muted and the jukebox songs played on the sound system. When the 3 songs for a quarter was done, the radio would automatically kick back in.
The Saimin Lanai was small and cozy. Sometimes a bit too cozy. I remember one weeknight during college time, I went there after work around 9:00PM or so and met my nightclub friends there. We had a couple of booths and had some dessert and were drinking coffee and smoking cigarettes. Since it was a weeknight and not very busy, we hung out there for hours while they kept filling our coffee and we kept smoking our cigarettes – until the whole dining room got all smokey. It started to look like the Point After’s back bar! Needless to say, with all that caffeine and nicotine – I had a very hard time sleeping that night.
And I have to mention the waitresses who worked in the Saimin Lanai restaurant. They were cool. I can’t remember any of their names. There was one that I met at KCC. Her name was – I not going say. But her first name began with an “R”.
I remember this other waitress who looked kinda homey (not homely). She had wire rim – almost granny looking – kine glasses and I thought she might’ve been the kine shy, soft spoken girl. Maybe from the neighbor island and attending UH kine. So I asked her the standard “What school you grad?”. She replies back to me “Saint Taniguchi”. I’m thinking “What? Maybe I’m right and that is some neighbor island school”. So when she came back, I continued on the conversation and said “Saint Taniguchi’s? Wea dat”. She just smiled at me and turned away. The other guys were telling me “She playing you, man! I think she grad Roosevelt”. She became one of my favorite waitresses.
So many MLC memories. Thank you Zippys for not closing down or rebuilding the McCully Zippys. I haven’t been there since they remodeled a couple years back, but I heard that they kept most of the charm. I really need to visit there again and retrace my steps from long ago.
Happy 47th Anniversary Zippys! Thanks for the memories.
What are your memories of Zippys? Did you hang out there? After the movies? After high school football games? After your bowling shift was over? Remember this commercial with Jade Moon? Share your stories with us.
Wanna check out a hot band? Pocket will be playing this Saturday (10/19/13) at Gordon Biersch at Aloha Tower Marketplace. Check out Wes Aoki, Kristie Ching, Darla Pestana, Dwayne Higa, Wendell Ching, Jules Kam, and Aaron Kimura.
Here’s a sample of POCKET