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Hawaii Fountain, Middletown, NY (restaurant)

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Name:Hawaiian Fountain
Street:465 Route 211

An old fashion Chinese restaurant. The unassuming exterior hides that fact that the inside still has a surprising amount of intact Tiki decor. One enters into a high ceilinged hall with bamboo screens on each side. To the right is a small dining room with fireplace and bar. To the left is a large dining room with another good sized room behind (divided by another screen.)

I made a visit with a few friends last November while in NY. (It's been a while so I may have forgotten a few of the details). I don't remember the night but I think it was in the middle of the week. It was busy -I do not suspect one would have to worry about it closing due to the lack of business.

We sat in the small dining room. Service was very good and the food was enjoyable. The cuisine is basically old fashioned Chinese-American slop with pineapple. I do believe we ordered the "Hawaii 5-0" which had 5 kinds of seafood. I ordered a "Mai Tai". It was pink. It wasn't a Mai Tai, but, it was pleasant and contained a good amount of alcohol. I didn't try any of the others as I had along drive ahead of me.

The bar has uprights made from large Bamboo logs with a thatched roof, several nice lamps amd some other crap. It appeared to have a lot of nice patina to it.

I spoke to the elder Asian gentleman who owns the place. We had a bit of a language difficulty so I'm not sure if the "Hawaiian Gardens" was built in 1975 or if he has owned it since 1975. At the time I got the feeling it was older.

All in all it was a very pleasant experience. I recommend our East coast members plan a visit. It's a short way from the NY State Thruway (under a 2 hours drive from NYC).

If someone does go please take some pics of the exterior and the sign.

Dug-Out above Fireplace in Small Dining Room

Our Meal: Chinese-American Pineapple Feista

Bar Lamp

Shell Lamp Above Our Table

Moderne Mensroom Sign

Exterior Tiki in Front

Corner Tiki-Large Dining Room

Support Pillar-Large Dining Room

Wall Art-Back Dining Room

Bar in Samll Dining room

[ Edited by: Atomic Cocktail on 2004-03-18 13:03 ]

If the pics don't load here's the link to my shutterfly alnum:


Read Lawgiver 29:6

[ Edited by: Atomic Cocktail on 2004-03-18 13:04 ]

[ Edited by: Atomic Cocktail on 2004-03-18 13:05 ]

After a tip from HummuHummu and reading my Takeout Menu I realized the name is actually the "Hawaii Fountain" (not the Hawaiian Fountain"!

O yeah, I almost forgot they were piping in Hawaiian music (in the small dining room at least.)

By the way Bigbro, I think most of the tikis are wood here. Not a fan of the paint job myself either but what can expect in East Bum-hole-former-cowtown, NY


Awesome post, I love these discoveries. Great pics, Atomic, How did you come across this place?

Thanks Atomic for the pics!
I´ve been at Hawaii Fountain several times and it´s a real treat.It´s tucked away in the Catskill Mountains, one of the furthest places from Hawaii! I think that its Tiki crossed with a Chinese restaurant is very typical of Northeast Tiki. You can´t get a pupu platter without a fortune cookie at the end. Check it out--but I doubt that you´ll ever be "just in the neighborhood."


At the moment, Hawaii Fountain is closed. I live right around the corner, and it seems like they shut their doors just last week. A sign on the door says "sorry about gift certificates." When you call the phone number (845-343-8773), a message says it's being remodeled. Unfortunately, I think remodeled means being knocked down to become another chain restaurant.

I live in Middletown, too. I think I'm going to cry. That leaves, like, one thing in this town I like.


On 2006-06-21 19:03, velveteenlounge wrote:
I live in Middletown, too. I think I'm going to cry. That leaves, like, one thing in this town I like.

I can't speak for you, but my interest in Hawaii Fountain is both the food and the drinks. Probably the food more than the drinks... It's a type of cuisine that is rapidly dying out, but it's what I grew up eating.

Anyway, if you go mostly for the drinks, Yobo in Newburgh, NY makes many of the same drinks in a similar fashion (tiki-style glasses). Their food is definitely not similar, however.

For the american/polynesian chinese food, I will have to trek down to Chan's Dragon Inn in Ridgefield, NJ for now. Hopefully Hawaii Fountain comes back, but I just drove through their parking lot yesterday and all the tables were outside and broken apart.

Damn! That's always the way as soon as I hear about someplace....poof!

Hey if you guys can make the trip I will be having a party in Allentown to christen my new tikiroom and bar. Let me know and I'll send you directions and the exact date once I talk more with the contractors.

p.s. My ex-wife is from Middletown (met her when I was a cadet).

Hey, Rugbymatt, that sounds great. I figured my husband and I couldn't be the only ones in this area interested in tiki!

I stopped and read the sign on Hawaii Fountain on the way home this morning and it said they were closed, but that they'd honor gift certificates when they reopen. Now, I have no idea what they're doing in there, but at least it doesn't seem in imminent danger of being razed. I wish they wouldn't change a thing, but they didn't ask me!

Robricc, I'll have to check out Yobo the next time I trek out to Mid-Valley to restock the bar.

Well, here's the latest about Hawaii Fountain, from today's Times Herald-Record. Sounds like they gutted the inside. I'm consoling myself with the fact that the new owners seem to be keeping the exterior (including the tikis) intact, they're keeping the tropical drinks and some of the old staff. It could be worse, I guess. It could be another chain. The new name will be You You.

July 29, 2006

Landmark eatery under renovation

By John Sullivan
Times Herald-Record
[email protected]

Town of Wallkill - The dynamo waiter known as "Little Johnny" will be back, as will old-time bartenders Victor and Kenny, who served up signature drinks with the umbrellas sticking out.

Those drinks - the Mai Tai, the Pago Pago and the Scorpion - will also be staying.

But after nearly 30 years as a Route 211 landmark, Hawaii Fountain will be no more, to be reincarnated as You You, a Chinese-Japanese establishment to be operated by Louis and Francine Wong.

The couple, who are renovating the building, also own Go-Go, a Chinese-Japanese takeout in a strip mall across from Orange Plaza on Dunning Road.

The Wongs intend to keep Hawaii Fountain's yellow and red exterior - its deeply pitched roof, totem pole and Chinese symbol for "east" - as reminders of the famed predecessor, Louis Wong said.

"It's like trademark," Wong said, explaining his reason for not tampering with the exterior. "It's always been there, and everybody knows it," he said.

The interior, chosen by Francine Wong, will be in black and maroon. Renovations for the new restaurant, the name of which means "relaxed" in Chinese, will also include a sushi bar, about 2,500 square feet of dining space and a new bar, Wong said.

"She pick everything, including the color of the tables," Louis said, detailing the couple's division of labor. "I'm too busy to work."

Wong said he is leasing the restaurant. A Middletown company called W4 Realty Inc. purchased the property, including the adjacent parking lot, in June for $1.25 million.

Opened first in the late 1970s just off Exit 120 on Route 17, Hawaii Fountain has a storied history. Locals, such as Walter Barrett, assistant town building inspector and long-time patron, remember it as one of the first "exotic" upscale restaurants to come to the area.

He remembered the "Hawaii-Five-O" decor - lots of bamboo poles, a water fountain, and a giant chrome cash register - as much as the Polynesian-Chinese cuisine, which included stir-fried food and exotic samplers like the pu pu platter.

Johnny the waiter, who zipped from table to table, might sit down back then for a moment to tell you in broken English about the province he came from in China and the long hours he worked at the restaurant, Barrett said.

Wong said he hired the waiter, who is now 50 or 60 years old, along with several of the other old-timers, all from Canton, China, as a way to maintain professionalism.

"You don't want to jeopardize the operation (by bringing someone new in)," Wong said. Johnny the waiter was not available for an interview this week.

Town Councilman Eric Valentin, who grew up in town, remembers the restaurant as the place he and his friends aspired to take their dates in the late 1970s. It was especially popular around prom time, when teens from Goshen, Middletown and Pine Bush schools would show up for dinner in tuxedos and dresses, he said.

"That was, for lack of a better place, the 'fancy' restaurant," Valentin said, adding that one of the first drinks he had at the restaurant was served in a porcelain glass shaped like a tree trunk.

"It was the first drink I had with an umbrella in it," he said. "That was considered exotic back then."


Thanks for the update. Let me know when it open's and I'll plan to drive and meet you guys for dinner some evening. Also let me know if you're interested and we could get together down in Lyndhurst, NJ at Lee's Hawaiian Islander too.

FYI - You guys are all invited to the unveiling of my new tiki room on Saturday 9 September here in Allentown.


Rugbymatt, that sounds great. Maybe we can meet up for Lee's sometime toward the end of the month and your tiki room sounds fabulous! Please let us know. I will, of course, keep you posted about the reopening.

Well, Hawaii Fountain is no more. It has reopened as You You, a Chinese-Japanese restaurant with sushi bar. They still serve drinks in tiki mugs and have maintained the exterior tikis, but have otherwise gutted the interior and the decor is now what I'd call contemporary Chinese kitsch crossed with Denny's. I love kitsch as much as anyone and the food was good, but I imagine we'll be spending a lot more time at Chan's Dragon Inn and Lee's Hawaiian Islander!


Am very sorry to hear of this news; this thread popped up again with the news and I realized I'd never posted my photos -- these are from October 2005:

Here's the sign:

A shot of the side of the building:

The menu:

Tikis at the front entrance (there was a facade in front of the door):

Another side of the building:

And your humble poster at the front door:

Sorry to hear of the changes!



Well while I was up in Middletown attending Velveteenlounge's Christmas soiree we stopped in to "You You" (former Hawaii Fountain) for lunch. The food is okay but the only Polynesian item left is the PuPu Platter. Luckily they still have the same bartender so the drinks have not changed.


I was so disappointed when the Hawaii Fountain closed and re-opened as You You. It was just terrible. We get better food from some of the "fast Food" chinese places. Does anyone know of a resturant that has food like the Hawaii Fountain had? I am dying for some GOOD Won Ton soup and quality polynesian food.


I agree, I'll never forget the day we went to have dinner at the Hawaii Fountain and pulled into the lot and noticed all the newspaper across the windows and the dumpsters out back were full. :( And then I noticed a sign on the door that said closed. At first we thought they were just sprucing up the place with a little remodeling job and then when we went back and found it had changed hands and was now called You Yous. :( How very disappointed we were when we went inside and everything had been stripped clean. The only thing left is the outside and it's tikis.

We had gone there many times for different occasions and we loved the atmosphere and the polite little server men and the food was the best. No, I take that back maybe it was the drinks. Of course we had to have the flaming ones. I'm sorry now that we never took pictures of the inside. And I haven't seen anyone that has any pictures the place on the inside either. So if you know someone that has some, please have them posted here. I'd love to see them and remember all the good times we had there.

[ Edited by: tikipaka 2008-08-31 02:06 ]

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