It began in the 1940's when my mom Kazuko and her four sisters Elsie, Sumie, Mary & Helen owned a small restaurant in Waipahu selling saimin, fish soup & BBQ sticks. Then in the 50's, Mom worked in a lunch wagon in Kalihi for Mrs. Haruko Gushi and in the 60's worked for her cousin Masa Uejo at Masa's Cafeteria in Mapunapuna. In 1969, my late dad Shinyu bought mom her very own kitchen in Kalihi called Yasu's Food Shop. From there, she started Ige's Lunch wagon which was located at Bobby's Union in Aiea. With a reputation for generous portions of tasty dishes at a fair price, her popularity expanded into Ige's Catering Service. After losing the lease for Yasu's in the mid 70's, dad built mom her own kitchen in the garage behind our home in Aiea. For over a decade, business kept growing to a point where all of us kids were helping out in the family business. Mom taught us all how to cook. But in 1989, we got an eviction notice. This was devastating news but looking back, that was the best thing that happened to our family because we all decided to build our own kitchens. From this humble beginning, Ige's has grown into 3 separate kitchens all run by her own children.
All 3 boys in our family play golf from time to time and like a ritual we always stop by the 19th Puka of wherever we played that day. Win or lose, it's always a good time! It's usually air conditioned with TVs, just a comfortable place where we can hang out and enjoy the camaraderie. We reflect over the day, pay off our debts and enjoy the pitchers of beer and different pupus offered. I thought it would be great to build our own 19th Puka. A dream was born! After dreaming for years, Ige's Restaurant & 19th Puka is now a reality!
My family and I would like to thank all of you for your patronage & loyalty throughout these years. We will continue to do whatever we can to uphold the legacy my parents started.