It’s Getting Depressing

Can you believe I had to turn on the air conditioner? It’s January for Christ’s sake! Anywho, the wife and I were taking a late-night stroll at The Block and it’s just sad up in there these days. Wave goodbye to DSO, Steve & Barry’s, Ron Jon Surf Shop and Virgin Megastore. Now you can add Hilo Hattie to the list of casualties. All of these spaces, easily over 100,000 square feet worth, now sit vacant.


Hilo Hattie in Orange was unique and the last of the Hawaiian chain’s mainland locations. Featuring everything from kitsch to upscale high-end merchandise it was a break from the usual retail grind here in OC. Even better, their merchandise was made in the USA (Hawaii to be specific). Not to worry, you can still head down to Forever 21 and get your imported cheap Asian-made crap by the truckload.

There’s not much reason left to go to The Block these days. The place is literally half empty [insert tumbleweed rolling by here]. Le sigh. I liked Hilo Hattie. Now it’s gone. What’s next? Will AMC close the theater? When the theater goes, it’s usually the death knell for a mall. It could be just me, but it seems like The City Shopping Center The Block @ Orange has squandered its second chance on cheap retailers and empty stores. How long before it sits abandoned like it’s predecessor?

3 Comments so far

  1. Dave Share (daveshare) on January 12th, 2009 @ 8:45 am

    I just heard Richie’s, the NY pizza place is closed too. That was my favorite place to eat there. :-(

  2. Gina (oc_gina) on January 12th, 2009 @ 12:38 pm

    It’s not looking good. We were there about two months ago, and I was wondering how long Hilo Hattie’s would be able to hold on.

  3. smellslikevictory on January 13th, 2009 @ 9:21 am

    The Hilo Hattie chain filed for bankruptcy protection in October 2008.

    According to the bankruptcy court document: “Unfortunately, due to global uncertainties in the financial markets, historic oil prices, the contraction of the United States economy, the resultant weakening of Hawaii’s tourist driven economy, these additional efforts to restructure the company’s debt were not sufficient to permit the company to avoid seeking relief under Chapter 11 of the bankruptcy code.”

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