KC Drive Inn: Home of the Original KC Waffle Dog

The Asato family opened KC Drive Inn as a carhop in 1934 on the corner of Ala Wai Boulevard and Kalakaua Avenue. It quickly gained a reputation as a late-night hot spot, luring couples, families and Waikiki entertainers.

In 1981, KC Drive Inn moved out of Waikiki to a 20,000-square-foot property at corner of Kapahulu and Harding avenues, popular for its local-style food and friendly service. Its signature menu items were the Waffles Dogs — hot dogs coated with a slightly sweet batter and cooking in a waffle iron until the edges are crispy — and Ono Ono Shakes

In March 2005 the beloved family-run restaurant — and the last car hop in Hawaii — shut its doors, a year after the family closed another landmark Oahu restaurant, The Wisteria, on King Street.

Dayton Asato, one of owner’s sons, continued the tradition of Waffle Dogs, serving this island favorite at bon dances, festivals and pop-ups around the state and in Japan.

*KC Drive Inn was originally founded by George Knapp and Elwood Christensen around 1928. The Asato Family bought KC Drive Inn in 1934.

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