Long-time customers have come out in Chicopee to celebrate the final night for the Hu Ke Lau.
Friday night was the final night, for now at the Hu Ke Lau, 53 years to the day after it opened.
By5 p.m., the Hu Ke Lau was filling up with customers, coming out to eat, drink, and see the restaurant’s final Polynesian show.
Lines were already forming to get into the dance area.
Owner Andy Yee told 22News his whole family was at the Hu Ke Lau Friday, including Yee’s mother, the founder of the iconic restaurant on Memorial Drive.
Yee, who owns several restaurants, said he remains committed to Chicopee, but hasn’t said what his future plans entail.
He said the Hu Ke Lau building is aging, and too large.
Customers told 22News they had to come out to the Hu Ke Lau as a last hurrah. They said it marks the end of an era.
“This is amazing,” said Karen Saunders of Chicopee. “I thought I was driving up and see this was a circus or something. This has just always been the place to go to before or after we went to the movies. Now it’s the meeting place after work, we go to the shows. Very sad.”
Yee said the 60 employees at the Hu Ke Lau will be offered positions at one of his seven other restaurants.
The sign out front tells patrons this isn’t goodbye, but Aloha until we meet again.
He said he will be making announcements on the future for the Hu Ke Lau in time, and that his businesses could be expanding in western Massachusetts and Connecticut.