Opened June 1975 (the hotel opened the year before).
This Kona Kai was part of a chain of restaurants that included locations in Chicago and Philadelphia. This location was the second to be built in Kansas City and was at the Plaza International (later the Hilton Kansas City Airport Hotel).
The second Kona Kai location was at the Plaza Inn just a block away from The Castaways.
Both Kansas City locations closed in the 80s and both locations featured "signature" 8-foot tall tikis carved by Oceanic Arts in Whittier, California (the tiki at this location has somewhat smaller nostrils -- a shorthand to tell them apart -- see last photo below). These tikis now reside in a private collection.
The Hilton Kansas City Airport Hotel is still running but all traces of the Kona Kai appear to have been removed. Instead, they now have the Asado Urban Grill as their hotel restaurant.