The History

In 1971, Ken’s House of Pancakes, the first 24-hour business on the Eastside, opened its doors. The joint ownership came from two people with a passion for food and providing hospitality to all types of customers at any time they would need it: Bonnie Twitchell and Ken Pruitt. With their help, this establishment became a one-stop-shop for all things breakfast-related. The late-night restaurant was a great success, with patrons being able to enjoy delicious and satisfying meals at any time of day or night. The Tapa Room Cocktail Lounge allowed adults not only to unwind after dinner but also beforehand in anticipation of the meal they were about to have.

In 1990, Lindberg Ching found out that there was a possibility of putting the famous eatery up for sale. He discovered this information while on vacation in Honolulu when he saw it was located in an area where golf is played. However, his golfing buddy was also Bonnie Twitchell’s realtor and he couldn’t pass up an opportunity to purchase the iconic restaurant. He enlisted his daughter who moved to Hilo, Hawai’i with her husband Ric Maiava-Chong for help managing their newfound business.

After the new administration came in, all employees at Ken’s were given a chance to maintain their current position. With fresh bosses comes adjustments for an already booming industry. The Chings took the Tapa Room and converted it into a more accommodating dining room. They also put on a new roof, created an updated menu with many options as well as modernized their logo to complement this change in atmosphere. This is just one example of how Ken’s constantly evolves for its customers’ needs! Ken’s House of Pancakes has been a staple in the community for as long as anyone can remember. The Ching family still owns and operates it, with Debra and Ric overseeing everything from pancakes to omelets. They sell delicious diner-style food like burgers, fries, milkshakes – and other native favorites!

Ken’s is a restaurant with the best food, staff, and community. It has been around for decades in Hilo and will continue to be here for years to come because they are so good!

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