Lighthouse Deli in Hawi Expanding

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Lighthouse Delicatessen, located at the Kohala Trade Center in Hawi, is expanding after only two years in business.

The eatery will feature an expanded deli and a brand new bar area with additional seating for 30, as well as longer hours.

The deli, which opened in October 2010, is the second collaboration between four friends, including carpenter Rick Klaus, yoga instructor Bobby Hoyt, chef Chris Scelza, and Marci Elizondo, who handles marketing.

In 2009 the group opened Lighthouse Liquors that is adjacent to the deli.

Both the liquor store and deli are named after the Kauhola Point Lighthouse that was torn down in 2009.


They decided to open the deli after noting a lack of certain food items in North Kohala.

Seeking to fill a culinary void, the shop carries a variety of freshly made breads, Boar’s Head and house-roasted meats, exotic cheeses, salads, soups, fresh pretzels, and specialty items, such as imported mustards and organic olive oils.

Food is available for sit down or to go and beer and wine are available by the glass.

Working closely with area farmers and ranchers, chef Chris Scelza is committed to using as much local produce and meats as possible, serving Big Island Roast beef and local organic turkey.


Its made-to-order sandwiches, several of which are inspired by Scelza’s family recipes, have earned Lighthouse Deli the honor of “Best Sandwich in North Hawaii” two years in a row. Sandwich choices include the reuben, chicken cordon bleu, turkey and cranberry, meatloaf, and pastrimi, among others.

The deli, which offers a pau hana on weekdays and live music on Fridays, has become known for its brunch offered on Saturday and Sunday mornings.

In fact, the deli received the “Best Sunday Brunch in North Hawaii” award this year.

But it was the success of their weekday pau hana and live music events that led the owners to consider expanding the deli and adding a pub.


Marci Elizondo said she and the other owners decided to add a bar because “there’s no true bar in Kohala, and we thought we would try to fill that need by providing Kohala with a fun place to imbibe.”

Co-owner Rick Klaus, a carpenter by profession, is doing much of the carpentry and woodworking of the remodel.

Elizondo says the deli and bar are preparing for a soft opening within the next week or two as soon as they receive final signatures “from the powers that be.” A formal grand opening will be held closer to the holidays.

Currently the deli is open Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m and Saturday and Sunday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. with brunch running from 9 a.m. to noon.

After the bar opens, Elizonda said the eatery will remain open until 10 p.m. on weeknights and midnight on Fridays and Saturdays.

The deli has already hired a couple new employees to accommodate the expansion and will add additional staff as necessary.

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