Merchant walks are a way to bring hosts together with local small businesses and introduce them to new and interesting places they can recommend to their guests. Travelers choose Airbnb to have a local and authentic travel experience and with the help of host recommendations, they get to explore parts of the city they would likely otherwise miss. When hosts give their guests recommendations about their favorite coffee shops, restaurants, and shops, local business owners benefit from new customers. Home sharing is a win-win because it benefits hosts, guests, and local neighborhoods.
Airbnb hosts came together on a sunny Saturday afternoon for a merchant walk to visit several small businesses located at SALT at Kakaʻako, Honolulu’s epicenter for local culture, food, shopping and innovative events. This amazing open air space is home to restaurants, curated retail shops, art and events and is packed with lots of things to see and do.
Check out the places our hosts visited and recommend below.
Morning Brew features freshly-roasted Hawaiian coffee beans, breakfasts, and sandwiches served in a colorful cafe and shop. This location just opened in August, and has been bustling from the day they opened their doors. Their mission is to “always offer tasty, healthy food and the freshest coffee, locally sourced.” They view themselves as more than just a coffee shop: their mission is to create a community space and Aloha. Food and drink brings people in, and good conversation brings them back.
Gillia, a women’s clothing boutique, carries a resort line that was launched in the summer of 2011 in Honolulu. They also bring in curated items from Europe and California. Open for just over one month at this location, this trendy boutique is a great place to stop after you grab a cup of coffee from Morning Brew.
“Let your creative side run wild at Treehouse,” says the owners of this full-service film camera shop. In this digital age, Treehouse serves as a resource for devotees of traditional film and analog photography. Although it recently relocated to SALT, the store has been open for five years, with a small staff of five people. This one-stop shop features everything you need to get your creative juices flowing as you explore the world of film and photography. They offer film processing, digital scanning, and printing, in addition to a full assortment of vintage cameras, instant photography equipment, art books, photo books, tripods, and accessories.
Opened in 1980, Hungry Ear Records offers the state’s largest new vinyl collection plus an extensive used LP section. It is the oldest record store in Hawaiʻi, according to the owner, and continuously buys used LPs, CDs, and memorabilia. Hungry Ear Records specializes in rare Hawaiian albums, cassettes and CDs, but also carries an extensive selection of rock, jazz and reggae.
According to Tim, a co-owner, Village Bottle Shop & Tasting Room is the first dedicated craft beer bottle shop and beer cafe in the state of Hawaiʻi. Here, they believe beer is special and can bring people together as a community. One side of the store is a beer cafe, while the other is the bottle shop. They carry more than 500 varieties of bottled beer and always have 16, mostly local beers on tap that rotate constantly. Village Bottle always tries to carry unique and interesting beers that keep people coming back. While beer is their focus, they also offer handmade pot pies that have become very popular. The cafe also features a digital menu board listing all the beers on tap, synced to an app available for download that tracks beer left in the keg. “It lets people see if their favorite beer is getting low, some of these kegs, there’s one or two of them in the state and when it’s gone it’s gone,” said Tim.
Follow them on Facebook and TwitterStay cool and refreshed with Butterfly Ice Cream. Everyone who appreciates fine ice cream and sorbet will enjoy flavors with island influences made in small batches on the premises. Their ice cream and sorbet are handmade from scratch using fresh ingredients and island sources. Butterfly offers more than twenty seasonal and rotating flavors to choose from.
From seed, to tree, to bean, to bar, Lonohana Chocolate offers authentic, responsibly made Hawaiian chocolate made by hand. The family-run company is located on Oʻahu, with 14 acres of cacao on the North Shore and a manufacturing facility in Honolulu. They also source cacao from Hilo and other areas.
More than your average surf shop, Milo is a trendy boutique home to everything from tanks and board shorts, to board bags and books and heaps of unique smaller items. The name Milo is a nod to the sacred Milo tree known to be resilient against the elements.
“Everyone that works here is an artist, or tries to be. We keep things authentic here.”
With award-winning drink recipes and delicious bites, Bevy utilizes a mix of local ingredients, exceptional service, and a fun atmosphere to create a unique neighborhood gathering place.