What is now a block of vibrant businesses, was once a street that wreaked of the sex industry. The sidewalk was clogged with a bar, liquor store, porn shop, strip club, and brothel. Ohai Street had been known for drugs, sex, gangs, and violent activity for about 100 years. In 2009, Surfing The Nations (STN) moved to Wahiawa and began the transformation and radical revitalization.
When STN closed down the old stores we expected it would be easy to rent them out. However, even after we lowered the rent below the market value, the only businesses this area was able to attract were from the very same industries we were trying to drive away!
We wanted to make sure whatever businesses came in represented our core values and brought new life to the street. So, we opened our own! The Surfers Coffee Bar and The Vintage Hawaii were born from that desire to be the catalyst for change in the community of Wahiawa. This change gave the chance for other start up businesses to join in the movement of transformation.