Warehouse 3540 is a new hotspot on Kauai’s south shore, only now being discovered by locals and tourists alike.
Located at 3540 Koloa Road in Lawai, the warehouse was originally built in 1951 and was home to Kauai Aluminum and Glass. The business operated there until the warehouse was destroyed by Hurricane Iniki in 1992. For 22 years, the metal building sat empty, steel frame mostly intact, until it was purchased in 2014 by Ty and Ariana Owen.
Renovation began shortly after, with the goal of providing a place for community to gather, to meet new people, and help new businesses become established without the crippling overhead that causes many local shops to fail, said manager Leah Brown. A comfortable retail space was imagined - with music, keiki activities, great food, and friends - and that is exactly what the Owens have achieved.
Each of these businesses are owned and operated by local families, and from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Tuesday through Saturday you might see the owners in their shops sewing, painting, or preparing essential oils while customers are shopping.
Food trucks, including Roots in Culture, Kickshaws, and The Fresh Shave, are parked in front of the warehouse to serve delicious local creations, and guests can eat at picnic tables outside or in the spacious interior of the building. Inky Pop Print Shop and Owen and Sons Woodworking have work space inside as well.
On Tuesday mornings at 9:15, Warehouse 3540 transforms into a place for keiki of all ages, with story time, singing and dancing, and drawing on the floors with chalk. Fridays are market days, with a focus on local foods; vegetable stands, honey, homemade teas and deserts, locally-raised meats, and more food stands dominate the interior while still providing space to gather and eat.
Every second Saturday in the evening the warehouse opens to celebrate community with live music and vendors of clothing and jewelry for a one-of-a-kind shopping experience. At different times throughout the week, store owners hold workshops for various activities such as lei making, macrame, and preparation and use of essential oils.
Warehouse 3540 is a unique space on Kauai, and as evidenced by the regulars who stop in for their favorite local products week after week, it is only going to get better. Great food, great shopping, and a strong sense of community and friendship are what Warehouse 3540 offers to the south shore.
Visit them online at https://www.facebook.com/warehouse3540/ for information about shops, hours, and upcoming events.