Moreton Bay fig still stands in village
Editor’s note: West Hawaii Today, in conjunction with Kona Historical Society, is presenting a weekly feature called “Historic Kailua Village.” The articles and accompanying photographs have been compiled by the society and were published in a booklet titled “Kona Historical Society’s Historic Kailua Village Map.”
Midtown Kailua-Kona is shaded by a beautiful Moreton Bay fig tree. It still graces Alii Drive with substantial branches that reach across the street toward the seawall.
Behind this tree used to be Fong Lap Store, one of the many Chinese shops in the village in the early 20th century. Several storefronts south of that can still be seen, including the two-story Kim Chong building, its faded old sign still visible behind palm trees.
Between these two sites, just south of the Moreton Bay fig tree, is Banyan Court, which was the first shopping mall in Kona. Many oldtimers remember doing business in the Mouse House and Kona Kasuals. They may also recall fun times at the Red Pants Bar, owned in the 1960s by actor and avid sportfisherman Richard Boone.
Copyright 2005 Kona Historical Society. Reprinted by permission.