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The Honolulu Advertiser

Updated at 1:02 p.m., Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Magoo's Pizza to serve last beer on Friday

By Alyssa S. Navares
Advertiser Staff Writer

The University Avenue area will bid farewell to another longtime establishment Friday when Magoo's Pizza closes its doors.

Changing times and increased business costs led owner Gilbert Sakaguchi, 63, to the decision, which comes about two weeks after Varsity Theatre — across the avenue — closed.

"It's not easy running a business here in Hawai'i," said Sakaguchi, who noted a 25 percent rent increase this year. "I think it's time to move on and simplify the things in my life."

Magoo's, in the Puck's Alley building at 1015 University Ave., is best known for its 99-cent mugs and $5 pitchers of 100 varieties of draft beer.

Sakaguchi plans to open 10 Magoo's Pizza wagons on O'ahu this year. The first wagon opened last month, while a second — located in the lot next to Puck's Alley — opens Friday. Pizza lovers in Kapolei will get a taste of Magoo's when a third wagon opens in two weeks.

Puck's Alley owner, Kamehameha Schools, will negotiate with Desert Isle Beverages about possibly taking over the Magoo's site, school spokesman Thomas Yoshida said.

"We are evaluating the property and the offers from potential vendors," Yoshida said.

Sakaguchi founded Magoo's Pizza in Waikiki during the late 1960s. Nearly a decade later, 26 locations were opened in Hawai'i before he sold the chain to franchisees in 1982. The current location opened in 1998 when he returned to business.