Mayor Provides Requirements for Oahu Restaurants to Re-Open

Mayor Kirk Caldwell announced that starting Friday, June 5, in-person table service dining in restaurants in the City and County of Honolulu will be allowed following the City’s guidelines approved by Governor David Ige. 

Loco Moco’s are a popular restaurant item in Hawaii.

Bars and nightclubs remain closed at this time and no self-service buffets or drink stations will be allowed.

Restaurants on O‘ahu will be allowed to reopen beginning on June 5 under the following requirements, conditions, and privileges:

• Continued compliance with all State of Hawai‘i and City regulatory and legal standards for operating a food services business

• Compliance with Social Distancing Requirements (as modified in Section 12 of the Mayor’s Emergency Order)

• Dining groups must be limited to a maximum of ten individuals per group (regardless of household membership)

• Cleaning and disinfecting must be conducted in compliance with Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidance

• Restaurant employees must wear face coverings during their shift – cooks and kitchen staff that do not interact with the public are encouraged but not required to wear face coverings

• Hourly touch-point sanitization (workstations, equipment, screens, doorknobs, restrooms, etc.) is required

• Frequent hand washing/sanitizing by employees is required

The reopening of restaurants guidelines also include a pilot sidewalk/outdoor dining opportunity at certain restaurants that abut City properties, including certain sidewalks. Please see the guidelines for further information. The City will roll out its sidewalk/outdoor dining application and temporary permit form shortly for interested restaurants that wish to take advantage of this unique opportunity. 

The full list of guidelines can be found in an amended Exhibit A of the Mayor’s Ho‘oulu i Honolulu 2.0 Order (Restore Honolulu 2.0 Order).

Restaurants Tanking in Hawaii

The Hawaii Restaurant Association reported the following to the Select Committee on COVID Economic Impact & Preparedness on Monday, April 20, 2020 after entering it’s 5th week of the closure of restaurants dining rooms.

In Hawaii 88% of restaurant operators say they have laid off or furloughed employees since the beginning of the coronavirus outbreak in March. 24% of operators anticipate laying off or furloughing additional employees during the next 30 days.


  • Among restaurant operators that laid off or furloughed employees, the average reduction was 86% of the restaurant’s total staff.
  • Based on these results, the National Restaurant Association estimates that more than 53,000 restaurant employees in Hawaii have been laid off or furloughed since the beginning of the coronavirus outbreak in March. This represents at least 75% of the 70,700 employees that were working at Hawaii’s eating and drinking places in February.

•  In Hawaii, 100% of the restaurant operators say their total dollar sales volume during the period from April 1 to April 10 was lower it was during the same period in 2019.

  • On average, restaurant operators reported a 79% decline in sales during the period from April 1 to April 10.
  • Based on these results, the National Restaurant Association estimates that the Hawaii restaurant and foodservice industry will lose more than $380 million in sales in April, if the trends continue through the end of the month.

Other Actions Taken or Anticipated

  • 59% of Hawaii operators say they continued operating but for off-premises traffic only. 49% of operators anticipate operating for off-premises traffic during the next 30 days.
  • 60% of Hawaii operators say they temporarily closed their restaurant since the beginning of the coronavirus outbreak in March. 51% of operators anticipate temporarily closing their restaurant during the next 30 days.
  • 4% of Hawaii operators say they have permanently closed their restaurant since the beginning of the coronavirus outbreak in March. 7% of operators anticipate permanently closing their restaurant within the next 30 days.

Percent of Hawaii restaurant operators who took or anticipate taking the following actions

Source: National Restaurant Association, national survey of more than 6,500 restaurant operators conducted April 10-16 Note: With the exception of permanently closing the restaurant, the ‘taken’ and ‘anticipated’ actions are not mutually exclusive.

Additionally The Independent Restaurant Coalition survey released April 16 revealed that nationally nearly three in five restaurant operators said they could only survive between one week and one month more given the current economic climate and local lock downs.

As many independent restaurants struggle to hear back from their prospective lenders, confidence levels are waning. Here are more findings from IRC’s survey data:

• On average, small restaurants have laid off 91% of their hourly workforce and 70% of their salaried workforce since April 13.
• More than 38% of restaurants surveyed closed temporarily (or possibly permanently).
• 28% of restaurants in cities with mandatory closures said they don’t believe they can survive the month.More than half of restaurants surveyed reported needing $100,000 over the next quarter in order to reopen successfully.
• The biggest challenge operators believe they face is a slow return of customers (41%), while the most immediate cash challenge is to pay rent (39%).
• More than half of restaurants have taken on $50,000 or more in new debt since the coronavirus crisis started.

Three-Dozen Hawai’i Restaurants to Participate in 17th Mealani’s Taste of the Hawaiian Range and Agriculture Festival

Three-dozen Hawai‘i restaurants and their chefs are serving up a culinary adventure at the 17th Mealani’s Taste of the Hawaiian Range and Agriculture Festival on Friday, Sept. 21 at the Hilton Waikoloa Village.

Attendees will enjoy innovative cuisine using healthy, forage-fed meats and a cornucopia of locally grown fruits, vegetables, herbs, mushrooms, honeys and beverages. Meats on the menu include 22 cuts of dry-aged, grass-fed beef—everything from tongue to tail—plus lamb, mutton, goat, pork and wild and domestic boar. Each culinary station receives a whopping 100 pounds of meat to create the dish of their choice.

Seven of the culinary participants are first timers, including The Fairmont Orchid, Hawai‘i and new Executive Chef Hubert Des Marias, who recently came to the Kohala Coast from Kenya. Using grass-fed beef is nothing new for the award-winning chef as The Fairmont Orchid serves grass-fed beef throughout the resort.

Executive Chef Hubert Des Marias

“I like grass-fed beef for its flavor profile and healthful benefits,” says Des Marias, who was named one of “America’s Ten Best New Chefs” by Food and Wine Magazine. He prefers “simple preparation” to let grass-fed beef “speak for itself.”  For Taste, chef will prepare a tasty “Tongue and Cheek” dish: tamarind-glazed beef cheek and sweet potato laulau with pickled lomilomi beef tongue and mustard greens salad served with Waimea tomatoes and a golden pineapple turmeric salsa.

Another 2012 Taste newbie is the Hyatt Regency Waikiki Beach Resort and Spa and Executive Chef Sven Ullrich. Assigned beef flap—a bottom sirloin cut also called beef loin tip—Chef Ullrich is serving extra virgin olive oil-poached beef with jackfruit slaw and micro chives.

Executive Chef Sven Ullrich

Commenting on grass-fed beef, the Hyatt chef shares, “Grass-fed beef has a distinctive flavor profile that is hard to find in today’s meat markets. It’s a natural product and the cattle are raised the old fashioned way, which makes it special for me and I just love working with it.”

Kelsi Ikeda of Sandy’s Drive In debuts at Taste to make kalbi-braised clod (cross-rib) quesadillas with a pineapple kim chee relish and kochujung sour cream. After jobs at Alan Wong’s, Nobu Waikiki and Trump’s Waikiki Beachwalk, Chef Ikeda is back on the Big Island working alongside her Grandma (Sandy) and dad (Aaron) as part of three generations at the Kainaliu restaurant. The mauka landmark specializes in “island favorites,” including loco mocos, which employ grass-fed beef.

“Food Network Star,” Chef Philip “Ippy” Aiona of Solimene’s Restaurant

Fresh from competition on cable TV’s “Food Network Star,” Chef Philip “Ippy” Aiona of Solimene’s Restaurant in Waimea makes his first Taste appearance using a favorite butcher’s cut known for its great flavor—hanger steak. As he is still securing his other ingredients, Chef Ippy says his culinary offering “will be a surprise.”

Other restaurants and their chefs debuting at Taste include the newly opened Lava Lava Beach Club in Waikoloa with Chef Colin Stevens preparing beef top round, Blue Dragon Restaurant in Kawaihae with Chef Noah Hester cooking beef bottom round and Sodexo/UH-Hilo Dining Services with Chef Timothy Choo using beef chuckroll.

Chef Noah Hester

Taste’s format of assigning chefs a variety of meat cuts fulfills its goal of educating both chefs and attendees that all the cuts of grass-finished beef can be enjoyed. In addition, with more of the animal being used, there is less waste and the value of the product goes up—a plus for the local livestock industry.

In addition to “grazing” at a host of culinary stations, festival goers can enjoy samples from a variety of Hawai‘i’s local food producers offering tastes of a bevy of products: savory red veal, tempting chocolate, vine-ripened tomatoes and more.  Also on display will be ag-related educational exhibits. It’s all part of the focus on food sustainability at the annual event that showcases the isle’s grass-fed beef industry while bringing together local ranchers, farmers, restaurateurs and eager eaters to celebrate a bounty of locally produced food.

Mealani’s Taste of the Hawaiian Range is 6-8 p.m. and sprawls from the Hilton’s Grand Ballroom to the Lagoon Lanai. Pre-Taste activities include a culinary demo, with sampling, on how to use and prepare 100 percent pasture-raised beef. Time is 3 p.m. for the 2012 installment of Grass-Fed Beef Cooking 101. This year’s guest presenter is Four Seasons Resort Hualalai Executive Chef James Babian who will be preparing Grilled Tri-Tip with Kiawe-Smoked Kabocha Pumpkin and Braciole de Manzo or Italian beef roll.

Tickets for the evening Taste and Cooking 101 demo are conveniently sold online at Taste tickets remain priced at $40 presale and $60 at the door, while the fee for the cooking demo is $10. Watch for ticket giveaways and event updates on Facebook at Taste of the Hawaiian Range and Twitter #TasteHI. For general event information, phone (808) 969-8228.

Anyone who requires an auxiliary aid or service for effective communication or a modification of policies and procedures to participate in this event should contact Jeri Moniz at 808-960-8411 no later than Sept. 14.

The Hilton Waikoloa Village offers Taste of the Hawaiian Range Kama‘aina Room and Ticket Packages (code TSH) starting at $229 plus tax for one night stay on Sept. 21 and two event tickets. Room-only accommodations are available starting from $149 per night (code MTH). Visit or phone 808-886-1234 and ask for the “Taste of the Hawaiian Range Ticket Package.”


2012 Participating Restaurants

Meat Cut Restaurant
Beef Tongue 12th Avenue Grill
Beef Heart Aloha Mondays
Beef Bottom Round Blue Dragon Restaurant
Commercial Pork Café Pesto – Hilo
Beef Skirt Café Pesto – Kawaihae
Beef Tripe Earl’s
Beef Cheek Meat Fairmont Orchid
Beef Tri-Tip Four Seasons-Hualalai
Beef Sirloin Tip Hawaii Community College – East Hawaii*
Feral Pork Hapuna Beach Prince Hotel
Mutton Hilo Bay Café
Beef Brisket Hilton Waikoloa
Beef Mt. Oysters Honolulu Burger Co.
Beef Flapmeat Hyatt Regency Waikiki
Steamship Round Kamehameha Schools – Hawaii
Kalua Pork Kuhio Grille
Beef Top Round Lava Lava Beach Club
Goat Mauna Lani Bay Hotel
Beef Skirt Mauna Kea Beach Hotel & Bungalows
Beef Top Sirloin Merriman’s Market Cafe
Lamb Merriman’s Waimea
Ground Beef North Hawaii Community Hospital
Beef Eye Of Round Pagoda Restaurant
Beef Top Round Red Water Cafe
Feral Portk Roy’s Waikoloa
Lamb Sam Choy’s Kai Lanai
Beef Clod/ Cross-Rib Sandi’s Drive In
Beef Chuckroll Sodexo/University Dining Services
Beef Hanging Tenders Solimine’s Restaurant
Beef Bottom Round Tommy Bahama
Mutton Town Restaurant
Beef Chuckroll Umeke Market
Beef Flank Village Burger
Beef Shank Waikoloa Beach Marriott Hotel
Beef Clod / Cross-Rib Hawaii Community College – West Hawaii*

Mealani’s Taste of the Hawaiian Range and Agriculture Festival provides a venue for sustainable agricultural education, encouragement and support of locally produced ag products. The premiere ag-tourism event is a partnership between CTAHR, Hawaii Cattlemen’s Association, Hawaii Cattlemen’s Council, Kulana Foods, UH-Hilo CAFNRM, County of Hawaii Dept. on Environmental Management and community volunteers. Sponsorship also includes the Hawaii Tourism Authority, the Hawaii County Research and Development, Hawaii Community College Food Service & Culinary Program and KTA SuperStores. The quality and growth of this event are rooted in small business participation, sponsorship and in-kind donations. For more information, visit