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Showing posts from July, 2017

Chobani registers to do business in Hawaii

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Chobani, the largest Greek yogurt company in the United States, has recently registered to do business in Hawaii.
It's not known what the yogurt giant's plans are yet but its "Chobani LLC" registration with the state Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs on June 28, could mean several things, including a possible new retail location in the Islands. Chobani already has a New York City cafe that opened in 2012, and has big plans to grow through "experiential marketing," which includes such ventures as retail locations. The New York-based yogurt company, which is making a heavy push to get consumers to eat yogurt beyond breakfast, also has opened cafes within stores, including one inside a Target store in New York. This move also helps out big-box retailers fill out their big spaces. Of course, Chobani's items are already familiar to consumers in Hawaii with its yogurts at supermarkets across the state, including Safeway and Foodland. Chobani is one …

Mexican restaurant chain expanding to Hawaii

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Chronic Tacos, a fast-casual Mexican restaurant chain, expanding to Hawaii with its first location opening at the Safeway-anchored shopping center on Kapahulu Avenue in Honolulu.
Ride N Sideways LLC has registered the trade name "Chronic Tacos Kapahulu" with state regulators for the purpose of opening a quick serve Mexican restaurant. Chronic Tacos also filed a building permit this week with city regulators for its new restaurant at 888 Kapahulu Ave., which also includes such tenants as Panda Express and Genki Sushi. California-based Chronic Tacos currently has about 40 locations including in states such as Alabama, Arizona, Nevada and Colorado.  It's not quite Chipotle, which also recently registered to do business in Hawaii, but Chronic Tacos may be quite the consolation prize in terms of this type of restaurant coming to the Islands. Its menu includes such items as tacos, burritos, chronic fries, chronic nachos, chronic salad and tortas.

Ala Moana Center's new food court gaining burger restaurant chain

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Mahaloha Burger, a small Hawaii-based restaurant chain, is opening a location at Ala Moana Center's new restaurant complex that's located in part of the former Shirokiya space.
This week, the company filed a permit to open at The Lanai at Ala Moana in Honolulu, which also includes Agave & Vine, Brug Bakery and Hi Tea Cafe. Mahaloha Burger, which sells burgers made with 100 percent free-range local beef from the Big Island, currently has two locations on Oahu, one at the Royal Hawaiian Center in Waikiki and another in Kailua on Hekili Street. The Lanai is scheduled to open this fall with up to 12 specialty food vendors and indoor and outdoor seating for up to 450 people.

Popular ice cream shop expanding to Waikiki

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Dave's Ice Cream is opening a new shop at the Ilikai hotel in Waikiki, public records show.
The small Hawaii-based ice cream chain, which has been around for decades, recently filed building permits to open at the iconic hotel that was featured in the original "Hawaii Five-0" television series. Dave's, which is headquartered in Pearl City, also has locations in Aiea in Central Oahu, Kealakekua on the Big Island, Waimanalo in Windward Oahu, Waipio in Central Oahu, as well as another shop in Pearl City. Its ice cream flavors include Azuki Bean, Frosted Sugar Cookie, Kahlua Fudge, Kulolo and Poha Berry. Dave's was created by David Leong in 1982 with a shop in Waianae in Leeward Oahu.

What it's like to dine near President Bill Clinton at one of Honolulu's finest restaurants

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Food? What amazing food? And what was our order again? Those were the thoughts that were going through my mind (and probably others) as former President Bill Clinton walked through the door to dine at Nobu Honolulu Saturday night with a security detail in tow. 
Mr. Clinton arrived at Nobu around 8 p.m. after giving the keynote address at an event earlier in the evening at the University of Hawaii Manoa in Honolulu. Dining just feet away from No. 42 with my fiancĂ© during my birthday dinner, I quickly realized what people were referring to when they mentioned the "star-power" and "charisma" that he possesses. As soon as he walked into Nobu, which is located on the ground floor of The Howard Hughes Corp.'s Waiea luxury condominium in the Honolulu neighborhood of Kakaako, no one could focus on their amazing food and drinks anymore including us. There were tourist and local couples, as well as people from Japan. It was a treat to be in the same restaurant with one o…

Billionaire Larry Ellison buys more Hawaii real estate

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Larry Ellison, the billionaire co-founder of Oracle Corp. who purchased 98 percent of the Hawaiian island of Lanai in 2012 for $300 million, continues his buying spree on the Pineapple Island with the recent purchase of a couple of residential units on the island.
Public records show that Ellison, one of the world's richest men, through his company Lanai Resorts LLC, purchased two properties in Lanai City for a total of nearly $2 million. As part of his overall purchase in 2012, Ellison also owns the two Four Seasons-branded hotels on the island, as well as the two golf courses near these resorts, one of which isn't reopening.  Ellison also is in the process of doing a $75 million renovation of the 102-room The Lodge at Koele, including reducing the room count by about 10 rooms, adding spa treatment facilities, building new fitness buildings and a yoga pavilion, as first reported by this blog.

Honolulu senior housing project delayed by high construction costs

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A planned senior housing project in Honolulu's Chinatown is getting tripped up by high construction costs.
The 150-unit Halewaiolu senior residence project, which is being developed by Michaels Development Co., was first proposed years ago. At a recent area neighborhood meeting, the developer and other stakeholders gave an update on the development, which is now scheduled to start construction in late 2019. The project will include 120 single-bed units and 30 double-bed units on 19 floors with 10 units per floor.  Karen Seddon, regional vice president for Michaels Development, said at the meeting that the cost of construction has gone up and that it is still working on securing funding for the project. Besides funding, there are other hurdles that the developer must clear including satisfying requirements from the National Historic Preservation Act. Halewaiolu would satisfy a huge demand for senior housing in the state, which has one of the fastest growing senior populations in th…

Restaurant opening in former Pearl Ultralounge space at Ala Moana Center

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A new restaurant is opening in the space formerly occupied by the popular Pearl Ultralounge at Ala Moana Center in Honolulu that has been vacant for about four years.
Grub & Barrels Inc. has filed a building permit Monday with city regulators to open its new restaurant in the former Pearl space at Hookipa Terrace on the third floor of the state's largest shopping center. The company, which was formed earlier this year by Annie Kim, has registered the trade names "Grub & Barrels" and "The Brilliant Ox." John Harada of Honolulu-based In + Form Design Inc. is listed as the architect for the project. In 2013, Pearl closed after being in business for seven years due to years of damage from water leaks from the tenant above — Romano's Macaroni Grill. In other restaurant news at Ala Moana Center, chef Alan Wong announced Monday that his Pineapple Room restaurant at Macy's is closing at the end of this month.