Sneak peek: MW Restaurant

If you’ve passed the old KGMB building on Kapiolani Blvd. or Makaloa St. lately, you may have noticed it looks a little different. Okay, a lot different. One half of the building is a credit union, and the other half is a very casual-chic restaurant. The interior is still being set up and some of the furniture is still in plastic, but in a few days, that’s all going to change — and so is the face of the neighborhood.

Alan Wong alums Wade Ueoka, former chef de cuisine, and Michelle Karr-Ueoka, the former pastry chef, left their longtime posts to open their own place, MW Restaurant. Their idea is to make comfort food that’s special, in a casual but chic way. They hope to offer a place that you’d want to go after work on impulse, but be nice enough for special occasions.

“We want to be able to share our food with as many people as possible,” Michelle said. “It’s going to be very approachable.”

They’re having a series of private, soft-opening events next week and after that, limited seating until mid-November to ensure they iron out any bugs and get their systems down pat. To keep up with the restaurant, follow them on Facebook. In the meantime, here are some photos from last night’s employee training session, which I was fortunate to crash observe, so you can get a feel for the restaurant, the kitchen, and some of the foods they’ll be serving. I didn’t eat anything but the cookies, so you’ll have to wait until next week to hear about the food.

MW preview

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It’s true: Michelle and Wade Ueoka, formerly of Alan Wong’s, are finally opening their own place. The address is officially 1538 Kapiolani, but the entrance is on Makaloa Street — the old KGMB building.