Please open a store in Hawaii.


It wasn’t too long ago that I read an article by @erikaengle in the Honolulu Star-Advertiser about Olive Garden still not coming to Hawaii.  Darden Restaurants, Inc., in the process of unveiling a new co-branded Red Lobster & Olive garden concept passed on the idea of penetrating the Hawaiian market even with a Red Lobster present in Waikiki.  It’s a shame since many local residents love visiting the eatery when visiting the mainland…not to mention the restaurant’s media schedule which includes ad bleed in to cable in this market….resulting in island residents left to watered mouths and their imagination.

Many restaurant chains & other famous shops pass on the idea of opening branches in Hawaii citing such reasons as import costs, lack of interest or even because of their unfamiliarity of an unexplored territory that has such a unique and diverse market.  Some chains have overcome the obstacles and have recently opened and even expanded in the islands….Walmart, Target, Forever 21, Bed Bath & Beyond, Victoria Secrets, Whole Foods, Macaroni Grill and Dave & Buster’s have flourished over the years…with a Bath & Body on the way to Ala Moana Center.  Still many favorites among locals such as Olive Garden have yet to make the leap.

What are some of the chains that you want to see here in the island?  Here are a few of mine….

  1. In-N-Out Burger. You know you can’t just have one!
  2. IKEA. Furniture heaven.
  3. Trader Joe’s. That way you no longer have to lug Omiyage back to the islands.
  4. Tokyu Hands (Japan). One of the most useful stores I have ever been to that has everything you can think of.
  5. Pottery Barn. Great, elegant merchandise perfect for gifts or for the home.
  6. Cost Plus World Market. If we can’t get a Trader Joe’s this will suffice for a few years.
  7. Big Town Hero. Truly the ultimate sandwiches.
  8. Baja Fresh. Love this fresh and fast Mexican eatery.  A healthier alternative to Taco Bell.
  9. Muji. Similar to IKEA, simplistic in every way.
  10. Chang’s Mongolian Grill. Based in Washington & Oregon, you just need to eat there to see why.
  11. Pizza Pipeline. A cheaper, tastier alternative to the current pizza chains we have here.
  12. Togo’s. I’m surprised they haven’t already made it this far west.

My last request isn’t so much as a chain, but products.  Please, please bring the McDonald’s Ebi Fry burger to Hawaii and the different flavors of Kit Kat that you can’t find in the U.S…..both can only be found in Asia, commonly in Japan.


6 responses to this post.

  1. Fry’s, Panera Bread, and Magiannos.


  2. I third that – FRY’S!!!!

    How about Chipotle? I’ve never tried it but hear a lot of positive things about them.

    And while they are not a chain, I would love to see Crustaceans/Thanh Long open a restaurant here. 🙂


  3. Oh, @nanigurl and I despise Olive Garden….LOL!

    Actually, I agree on IKEA and TJ’s, I’d also like to see Fuddruckers, Rubio’s, Claim Jumper, and Rock Bottom.

    As for products: Clodhoppers.


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