The city of Hawaii has a growing number of Chinese food restaurants, some with names such as Garden Cafe, Hard Times Cafe and Whole Hog Cafe.
But the state’s newest Chinatown is one of the last places to have its own.
A couple years ago, Mayor Jim Buckhead said he was getting a lot of inquiries about the new Chinese eatery in the old Chinatown, where he owns a restaurant called the Garden Cafe.
Buckhead called the restaurant a Chinese restaurant because it has “an authentic Chinese flavor,” including the use of the word “cafe” instead of “garden.”
He said the Chinese name would be something that would help tourists and locals feel welcome.
Buckner said he decided to open Garden Cafe in late February because he knew a lot about the city’s Chinese community.
It’s been a long time since a Chinese food joint opened in Honolulu, Buckner noted.
In January 2017, a Chinese company opened in the same space that had been vacant for more than a decade.
The Chinese restaurant was a popular hangout for tourists.
Buck was surprised to learn that Garden Cafe is a restaurant that is owned by Chinese nationals.
“It’s a unique opportunity to see our community coming together and having a place that’s open to the public,” Buckhead told ABC News.
“There’s so much diversity here and we’re excited to see this take off.”
He added, “I just wanted to be a part of it.”
More from ABC News: The restaurant owner says he’s been “really pleased with how well it’s been received.”
On Friday, the Honolulu City Council approved a $50,000 loan to help pay for the renovation.
The loan is to be repaid over time and the city hopes to eventually open the restaurant.