Lau Yee Chai (that translates to ‘House of Abundance’) was built in 1929 by Chong Pang Yat, and its elaborate, classical Chinese architecture stood out in the Waikiki landscape, effectively attracting mainland tourists to its door. Lau Yee Chai was the first Chinese restaurant in Honolulu to use elaborate Chinese architecture and decorations to attract customers.
Tourists viewed it as a scenic landmark, while local Chinese found its spacious and luxuriant interior suitable for large parties and celebrations. Lau Yee Chai was a place for locals to dine at on special occasions. William (Bill) KH Mau took over the original Lau Yee Chai restaurant in 1948. Back in the 40s and 50s Lau Yee Chai, at the corner of Kalākaua and Kūhiō Avenues, was one of the premier restaurants and nightspots in Waikiki. It later relocated, and closed.