What’s New, What’s Closed and What’s Moving in Honolulu
Sweet Creams expands, Saint-Germain says aloha and Sunny Side rebrands.
What’s New/Recently Opened
1. Bean About Town in Kaimukī
Photo: Courtesy of Bean About Town
Bean About Town is the newest specialty coffee and French deli shop to hit Honolulu, celebrating its opening in early May. Passionate about his coffee, French owner Olivier Vetter decided to expand his London business to Hawaiʻi.
“I know the coffee scene very well and my wife grew up here. We love Kaimukī, and I thought it was the best place to bring European flavor,” says Vetter.
Starting with a coffee machine on the back of his moped, Vetter expanded his business all throughout London. Not only does the shop serve specialty coffee—Shakarato, espresso and cappuccino are just a few—it also offers European dishes such as crème brûlée and croque monsieur.
The shop also has a drive-thru app that allows customers to order their coffee from their phone before heading to the store to pick it up.
3538 Waiʻalae Ave., beanabouttown.com
2. Burgers on Bishop in Downtown Honolulu
Burgers on Bishop is set to open July 2 in the Topa Financial Center underneath Bar Leather Apron. Don’t let the name fool you—the restaurant’s menu goes beyond burgers, serving grab-and-go breakfast options, salads and acai bowls, as well as sandwiches and pasta.
“Our vision for Burgers on Bishop is to create a convenient and affordable option for busy Downtown employees looking for something different and delicious,” said chef Toby Sakoda in a press release.
Its hours are 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday through Thursday, and 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Friday. Friday’s pau hana menu also features dishes such as short ribs and the Pau Hana Burger—an 11-ounce beef patty topped with Bleu d’Auvergne cheese, bacon, cremini mushrooms, onions, fresh greens and tomato.
Burgers on Bishop has other locations in the works, with names unique to each restaurant’s location. The eatery is also in the process of obtaining a permanent liquor license and expanding its nighttime options.
Topa Financial Center, 745 Fort St., #130, burgersonbishop.com
3. The Surfing Pig in Kaimukī
This new urban restaurant may be in a cursed location—Salt Kitchen & Tasting Bar, Hale Ōhuna, Avenue’s Bar + Eatery and the The Edge by Tamura’s have all closed in the same spot in the past few years—but that didn’t stop The Surfing Pig from opening in April.
Photo: Courtesy of Alex Wong
“We believe Kaimukī is the dining Mecca of Oʻahu and wanted to bring the attention back,” says the restaurant’s director of sales and marketing Anna Piergallini. “It’s such a vibrant community of local eateries. The Surfing Pig fits right in, bringing an urban feel.”
Sister restaurant to Kono’s, The Surfing Pig offers a uniquely crafted menu of local fusion, featuring some dishes such as Kono’s signature 12-hour slow-roasted kālua pig.
Photo: Courtesy of The Surfing Pig
The menu also includes small plates, such as beef tataki, smoky cheesy mac with porchetta, and Surfing Pig truffle fries, as well as main dishes brick chicken, served with Sriracha fried rice, mushroom medley and lemon beurre blanc. Its hours are 4 to 10 p.m., with extended hours on Friday and Saturday.
3605 Waiʻalae Ave., thesurfingpig.co
4. Aliʻi Coffee Co. in Downtown Honolulu
Photo: Courtesy of Aliʻi Coffee co.
A new coffee shop has opened in the old Let Them Eat Cupcakes space. Aliʻi Coffee Co. celebrated the soft opening of its first store on May 4, but the company has been on the island for quite some time.
“My co-owner James Webb and I are both coffee roasters and had the same mentor,” says co-owner Will Gold. “Honolulu Coffee Festival was our first event, and we’ve been doing pop-ups at places like Eat the Street and Pearlridge Farmers Market for about one-and-a-half years.”
This craft coffee bar features an array of cold-brew drinks such as The King (chocolate, coconut and almond cream). Not really a coffee person? Aliʻi’s menu includes toasted sandwiches, salads and bagels as well. The shop’s hours are Monday through Friday from 6:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. It is also open on Saturdays from 8 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.
35 S. Beretania St., aliicoffee.com
5. Italica Bar & Café in Kakaʻako
Located inside Velocity dealership, Italica Bar & Café celebrated its grand opening in February. Run by master chef and Italy-born Maurizio Roberti, along with chef Gianpaolo Raschi, Italica serves up popular Italian dishes, such as caprese salad, calamari fritti and the classic margherita pizza. The restaurant also features aperitivo (think of it as Italy’s version of happy hour, but with light drinks and small plates) every Wednesday night from 5 to 7 p.m. Its daily hours are 9:30 a.m. until 9 p.m.
888 Kapiʻolani Blvd., italicabarcafe.com
6. Icy Bubble in Pearl City
It seems as though rolled ice cream is the newest food fad to hit the Islands. Icy Bubble, which opened in April, serves rolled ice cream flavors that include organic Gotcha Matcha and Banana Nutella, as well as milk tea, smoothies and slushies. Its hours are 10:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily.
1029 Makolu St., Pearl City, (808) 456-6888
7. E.A.R.L in Kakaʻako
Bringing us hand-crafted gourmet sandwiches since 2014, E.A.R.L is slated to open its second spot in Kakaʻako sometime in October. The sandwich shop will carry a breakfast and lunch menu similar to its Kaimukī location, featuring sandwiches such as the French Dip, made with striploin, chimchurri, roasted garlic mayo, fennel onion marmalade and pepper jack.
“We wanted a bigger space to share our products with people, to host events, and it just so happened that the right opportunity came up in a cool upcoming area,” says Justin Parvizimotlagh, owner of E.A.R.L.
400 Keawe St., earlhawaii.com
8. Izakaya Uosan in Honolulu
Former chef and manager of the highly rated Sushi Izakaya Gaku Yoshinobu Misawa opened his own restaurant in late January. Uosan is located where the old Shabu Shabu House used to sit and is open Tuesday to Sunday from 5:30 to 11 p.m. Expect authentic Japanese cuisine, with dishes such as takikomi gohan omelet, grilled kurobuta belly and crab cream croquette.
1221 Kapiʻolani Blvd., (808) 200-5077
9. Sweet Creams in Pearlridge Center
Photo: Courtesy of Sweet Creams
Hawaiʻi’s first rolled ice cream shop celebrated the grand opening of its second location at Pearlidge Center Downtown on June 1. Co-owner Jeffrey Kao stumbled upon the concept back in 2016—searching for something unique for his daughter’s 1st birthday, he came across a video of a man making ice cream rolls in Thailand. Kao and his business partner Bari Carroll soon found themselves hosting pop-ups and gaining a large social media following.
“We owe everything to social media,” says Kao. “There’s no way we would’ve grown without it.”
Roll down to either of Sweet Creams’ two locations (also open near Ala Moana Center) and taste the Maikai ’n Da Coffee, Pineapple 5-0 or the No.1 seller, Cookies ’n’ Cream. Its ʻAiea kiosk hours are 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday to Saturday, with shorter hours on Sundays.
Pearlridge Center Downtown, 98-1005 Moanalua Road,ʻAiea, sweetcreamshawaii.com
10. Teapresso Bar and Il Gelato at Pearl Highlands
Teapresso Bar and Il Gelato will be teaming up to open a joint location at Pearl Highlands Center Food Court in July. Although Teapresso has been serving Il Gelato at its other locations, this will be the first full collaboration where both companies will share a shop.
“It just made sense since our products go hand-in-hand,” says Teapresso owner Steve Nguyen. “Both of our businesses combine that natural and fresh taste.”
Il Gelato will feature the same menu as its Haleʻiwa and Kāhala locations—crepes, waffles, acai bowls and smoothies, as well as gelato in a coconut shell. The same goes for Teapresso.
Pearl Highlands Center, 1000 Kamehameha Highway, Pearl City, ilgelato-hawaii.com, teapressobar.com
11. Brug Bakery in Mānoa
Photo: Courtesy of Brug Bakery
The popular Brug Bakery opened its fourth Hawaiʻi location in Mānoa Marketplace this month. Founded in Hokkaido, Brug’s newest location is near Territorial Savings Bank and Mānoa Sushi, with hours from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday.
“We are really happy to be a part of the Mānoa community,” says Miho Choi Fernandez, Brug president. “We just love this beautiful valley and are seeing many familiar faces, as well as making many new friends. We have already felt so welcomed here.”
Brug’s other locations include two at Ala Moana Center and one at Pearlridge Center.
Mānoa Marketplace, 2752 Woodlawn Drive, brugbakery.com
12. S&S Thai Kitchen in Waikīkī
Enjoying tom yum with handmade noodle soup, tapioca rice noodles and khao poun just got easier. What started as a small food truck in Mōʻiliʻili in 2014, S&S Thai Kitchen opened its second dine-in eatery in March in Waikīkī. The authentic Thai and Laotian restaurant is open daily from 11 a.m. to 10:30 p.m. S&S is also located in Shirokiya Japan Village Walk at Ala Moana Center.
Canterbury Place, 1910 Ala Moana Blvd., sandsthaikitchen.com
13. Uncle Clay’s House of Pure Aloha at Ala Moana
The humble ‘Āina Haina crack seed and candy shop opened its second location in April at Ala Moana Center. Uncle Clay’s House of Pure Aloha, also known as HOPA, can be found next to The Lānai, the newest food court near Macy’s. Its hours are Monday through Saturday 9:30 a.m. to 9:30 p.m., and Sundays 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.
An Island favorite, HOPA prides itself on using Hawaiʻi-grown ingredients and no artificial sweeteners, with local flavors such as guava, mango and lilikoʻi. Its Ala Moana location also offers 12 different ice cream flavors, including HOPA orginals POG Cream and Matcha Azuki Bean.
Ala Moana Center, 1450 Ala Moana Blvd., houseofpurealoha.com
14. Rainbow Drive-In in Kalihi
Photo: Courtesy of Rainbow Drive In
The local favorite opened its second location on May 2. Founded in 1961by Seiju Ifuku, Rainbow’s newest shop occupies the old Kamehameha Bakery space and features the same array of plate lunches—shoyu chicken, loco moco, chili dog—but excludes the daily specials. The Kalihi location expanded its hours on June 13 to serve dinner as well. Its other location is in Kapahulu across from the Ala Wai Golf Course.
1339 N School St., rainbowdrivein.com
What’s Closing/Recently Closed
1. Baku Waikīkī
After nine months of calling the International Market Place home, Baku Waikīkī shut its doors in early June. The modern Japanese restaurant was located on the Grand Lānai, which still houses seven other dining options. The menu offered signature raw plates such as the Kona kampachi, and rolls including spicy gokujo tuna. This was the restaurant’s only location on the island.
2. Saint-Germain/Dee Lite Bakery
President of Saint-Germain America Inc. Koichi Yoshida wrote on June 7 that the company will be closing down all of its Hawaiʻi locations by the end of August, citing the tough economy as its reason. The bakery had four retail locations: on Beretania Street and in Kāhala, Dillingham and Waipahu. Saint-Germain has been a household name on the island, serving French-style pastries, cakes and other baked goods since 1977.
3. The Dumb Coq
Photo: Don Wallace
The Dumb Coq closed its doors on King Street earlier this year. Owner Yoon Kim moved to Hawaiʻi to help run the now closed Soul de Cuba, and later opened The Dumb Coq in late 2015. There has been no word from Kim about reopening, so expect to find your pork belly sliders, croque monsieur and chicken saltimbucca somewhere else in the meantime.
The Japanese restaurant is currently in the process of finding a new location. Irifune—beloved for its garlic ʻahi and tempura combinations—was located in the Kapahulu neighborhood near Uncle Bo’s Pūpū Bar & Grill. There is no set opening date or location yet.
PHoto: Courtesy of Ravish
The fine-dining restaurant that was once located in The Modern Honolulu closed in May. Ravish, which opened in early 2017, took over the empty space left by Morimoto. With Diamond Resorts as its new owner since April, The Modern Honolulu is currently looking for a new restaurant to occupy the space.
Led by chef Keith Pajinang, Ravish offered an array of Pacific-inspired, soul-infused plates, such as the seared Kona kampachi with chimichurri and the smoked Pacific salmon.
6. Tokoname in Waiʻalae
The sushi bar shut its doors at its Waiʻalae location on Mother’s Day, but continues to serve customers at its restaurant in Kailua. Tokoname opened its Waiʻalae restaurant 10 years ago.
This is the second closing the business has undergone, shutting down its Mānoa Marketplace location in late May.
The Kailua location features the same menu, with classic Japanese cuisine such as firecracker shrimp, tonkatsu and unagi kabayaki.
7. The Baker & Butcher
Opened in late 2013, the grab-and-go eatery closed its doors back in December of 2017.
“Being a sole propreitor and manager, and preparing an aritisanal menu and maintaing a strong presence was incredibly taxing,” says executive pastry chef Roger Meier.
After two years, Meier left Honolulu Coffee Co. in 2013 to open the artisan sandwich shop in a small space in the Remington College food court. Baker & Butcher, known for its signature Butcher’s Cut sandwich with beef au poivre, roasted shiitake, cognac aioli and slow cooked onion, also featured an assortment of desserts such as lilikoʻi cheesecake, French macarons and strawberry roll cake.
Meier hopes to reopen a place in Waikīkī, but is currently working on a concept in Cleveland, Ohio.
1. Tanya’s Pie and Grill
Wahiawā’s Sunny Side Bakery may have closed at the end of March, but it has picked up a new name—Tanya’s Pie and Grill. The popular bakery is slated to reopen this summer at 1008 California Ave., a 3-minute walk from its old location. It is still expected to serve its popular menu, which featured fried rice omelets and chocolate cream and peach-pear pies.
1008 California Ave., Wahiawā, (808) 671-7188
The old Kakaʻako plate lunch place made the move to Downtown in early April. Now on Bishop Street near People’s Cafe Express and The Bread of Life, Tsukenjo will continue to serve its ʻono plate lunches—hambuger steak, pastele stew and roast pork. It hours are Monday through Friday from 5:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.
1148 Bishop St., (808) 597-8151
This sandwich shop closed its doors on King Street back in October 2017 but has opened a new place on Wilder Avenue. After being forced to relocate due to construction of a new condominium, Sammies moved to Makiki in early March and continues to serve popular hoagies.
Describing the business as a “one-man operation,” owner Abraham Jazmin serves homemade sandwiches such as the French Dip, made with roast beef, provolone, caramelized onion and crack sauce (Asian style tzatziki sauce with a sour cream base).
1239 Wilder Ave., (808) 219-5938
Bring the family down to the Best of Honolulu Festival July 14 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Honolulu Hale civic grounds. Eat at ‘ono food booths, shop local designers in the marketplace, bring the family to the keiki zone for face painting, balloon animals, rides, games and more. For more information, visit honolulumagazine.com/bestofhonolulu.