Kainaliu means "a place to bail water out of the canoe," and was the name of a small village near the coast that the current mauka (inland) town takes its name from.
In the days when inland Kona was coffee country, Mamalahoa was a dirt road running through the coffee farms between Holualoa, Honalo, Kainaliu, and South through Kealakekua and Captain Cook. Many of these towns, mere minutes apart by car today, then functioned as separate, distinct entities- each with their own general stores, theatres, and community.
More info about parking at the bottom of this page.
Visit Kimura Fabrics in Kainaliu. Click here for more.
Parking: There are three useful public parking lots in Kainaliu. Right as you enter, the public "Kainaliu" lot is just North of the Aloha Theatre. Just South of the theatre is the "Oshima" public lot, and there is also public parking across the street behind the old bowling alley. Mango Court / Island Naturals is a little further down the road and it may be more convenient to use their lot when visiting their stores. (These are also marked on the google map below.)
You will see the public Kainaliu lot first when arriving from Kona
South of the Theatre is the "Oshima" Lot
And across the street is a third public parking lot (& bathrooms):