Shack Waikiki

The Shack Waikiki, a popular but violence-plagued bar-restaurant in the center of Hawaii’s tourism industry, owes its landlord more than $500,000 in back rent and is facing imminent sale or closure, according to court records and interviews.

On Kuhio Avenue in the Waikiki Trade center, The Shack Waikiki opened for business in 2008, quickly attracting large, young crowds of local residents and visitors.

The nightspot also began building a reputation for violence and is now at the center of numerous civil cases and a federal criminal case featuring allegations of beatings and extortion.

In February, The Shack Waikiki’s landlord, Waikiki Trade Center, brought an eviction case in state District Court, alleging that the bar-restaurant owed more than $509,000 in back rent.

The company then agreed to pay $49,000 a month into a court-administered rental trust fund, but late last month the landlord obtained a writ of possession to take control of the property.

Michael Green, a private attorney who represents one of The Shack Waikiki owners, said today that negotiations are underway for a sale of the business.

Waikiki Trade Center attorneys did not respond to requests for comment.

Another Waikiki business owner, who asked not be identified, said he understood that that there are plans to auction The Shack’s business inventory by the end of this month if a sale of the business is not finalized.

See related story Attorney For Shack Owner Accused of Conflict Of Interest

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Jim Dooley joined the Hawaii Reporter staff as an investigative reporter in October 2010. Before that, he has worked as a print and television reporter in Hawaii since 1973, beginning as a wire service reporter with United Press International. He joined Honolulu Advertiser in 1974, working as general assignment and City Hall reporter until 1978. In 1978, he moved to full-time investigative reporting in for The Advertiser; he joined KITV news in 1996 as investigative reporter. Jim returned to Advertiser 2001, working as investigative reporter and court reporter until 2010. Reach him at Jim@hawaiireporter.com