No more roast pork with gravy, no more fresh corned beef hash sandwiches. Fifty-four years after Tetsu and Mitsuko Tsukenjo opened for business at the corner of Cooke and Queen streets in Kakaako, Tsukenjo Lunch House is closing for good on Friday.
Shock of shocks. But those clusters of people you see lining up on the sidewalk outside the takeout window at lunchtime? Not every day, apparently. “It’s just too hard,” says Doris Nabarro, one of the seven Tsukenjo kids. “Some days it’s a ghost town.”
The recipes never changed from the opening days in 1959, except the new generation stopped using MSG. The lunch trucks the Tsukenjos ran were sold off a few years ago. So here’s your PSA: Those spare ribs, handmade hamburger patties, Spam and egg sandwiches, no more after Friday.
Good-bye, Tsukenjo’s. Thank you for all that hard work. Thank you for all those nostalgic lunches that kept us tied to an older Honolulu. Thanks for all those years.