Night Market at Uncle Robert’s reopens

KALAPANA — The Night Market at Uncle Robert’s Awa Bar and Farmers Market reopened Wednesday after being shuttered for one week.

The event returned at its usual time at the Kalapana awa bar after its organizers announced two weeks ago that it would be indefinitely shut down because of inappropriate behavior by some attendees.

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The night market, typically hosted from 5-10 p.m. every Wednesday, has been operated by a local family, the Keli‘iho‘omalus, and attracts hundreds of visitors and dozens of vendors each week.

Night Market staff told vendors that the market Aug. 21 would be the last such event until further notice, in part because of “underage drinking, sales of illegal substances and ohana rules being disrespected or ignored.”

Kalapana resident Ikaika Marzo, who is family with the market’s organizers, said Uncle Robert’s has since implemented better lighting and hired more security in order to prevent illicit activities.

However, Marzo said the return of the Night Market might not be permanent.

“If there’s still problems, we might still have to shut down next week,” Marzo said.

Guests and attendees were urged to report any suspicious activity on market days and were warned that Uncle Robert’s “will not tolerate any nonsense,” in a notice about the market’s reopening on Facebook.

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“Many of you may not understand the cultural and sentimental value of our home,” the notice read. “We walked this land, put our hands, spirit and emotions into this aina, long before it became a market. Our kupuna … are buried on this land. We have every right to refuse entry to anyone being disrespectful. This aina is our heart!”

Email Michael Brestovansky at mbrestovansky@hawaiitribune-herald.com.

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