Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Japan funnyman Takeyama opens shave ice pop-up

Nadine Kam photos
Japan comedian Takeyama took time to pose with fans during a Golden Week visit to his shave ice pop-up inside Sam’s Kitchen Waikiki.

There have been lines out the door at Sam’s Kitchen in Waikiki in recent weeks. While Sam Monaghan is known for his ono garlic steak and shrimp plates (it’s best when Monaghan is doing the cooking), the lines were for the pop-up shave ice stand started by Japan comedian Takanori Takeyama, known as Cunning Takeyama.

A television station challenged him to open the shave ice stand, and the comedian said he thought about it for 15 minutes before agreeing to the stunt — even though it meant putting up $65,000 of his own money. He was recently in town to greet fans and sign autographs in celebration of Japan’s Golden Week.

May 13 is the last official day the pop-up will be open, although Takeyama may consider setting up something more permanent. In business for just a month, the shave ice stand has brought in about 600 customers a day since Day 1, and at $5 per shave ice order and $30 for T-shirts, I’d say he’s made his money back and had the last laugh.
If you want to peek in, Sam’s Kitchen is in an alleyway at 353 Royal Hawaiian Ave., across from T Galleria by DFS.

Non-flash video

Passersby can’t miss the bust of Takeyama as the restaurant entrance. He’s known for his loud-mouthed, angry antics.

Takeyama’s signature rainbow shave ice served in his logo bowl.

The shave ice pop-up has been drawing 600 to 800 visitors a day, typically fans eager to catch a glimpse of comedian Takeyama.

Fans left messages and drawings for the Japanese comedian.

Fans found out about Takeyama’s appearance via social media and were willing to stand in line for an autograph by the Japanese celebrity.

Takeyama gamely oblighed autograph seekers.

Nadine Kam is Style Editor and staff restaurant critic at the Honolulu Star-Advertiser; her coverage is in print on Wednesdays and Thursdays. Contact her via email at nkam@staradvertiser.com and follow her on Twitter, Instagram and Rebel Mouse.

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