Monday, May 27, 2002

KFC spreads its wings

Parker Ranch Center is soon to get its first KFC as a lease has been signed for the development adjacent to the new Foodland.

The chain's No. 28 quick-service chicken eatery should be up and running by the fall, according to KFC Hawaii General Manager Steve Johnson.

As it's going into a sort of strip-mall type development it will be an inline store and will not have a drive-through component, he said.

The franchisee, from Japan, hopes to have 30 stores in Hawaii by the end of the year, Johnson said. He is in negotiations on two other leases on Oahu and said "there may be room for three or four relocations," in cases where more favorable lease terms are available near existing stores.

CPK take two

A cutting room floor item from the California Pizza Kitchen story of last week ... "We're aggressively looking for sites (to expand)," CPK Kahala General Manager Dave Dwyer said.

His store and Ala Moana are regulars among the 100-store chain's top five producers. "I bet we can find a couple more that can be top 10," he said.

A song and dance man...

Waikiki Parc Hotel General Manager Mark DeMello couldn't say no; he knows what it's like to be a troubadour.

Diamond Head Theatre asked if visiting "Titanic" Director Jennifer Waldman could stay for several weeks to prepare for the show's opening last Friday. The hotel welcomed her; and was to bid her farewell on Saturday.

Also a performer, Waldman appeared in "Titanic" on Broadway among many other roles and adds to her credits soon with a starring role in the world premier of "The West End Horror" in New York.

DeMello's hospitable empathy springs from his own pre-executive career.

His performing career started with Don Ho when he was 18; he spent four years touring and recording with The Kasuals and later sang solo at Central Union Church.

More mainland media

Not all mainland media references to Hawaii are as venomous as the recent Forbes article.

On May 17 Chicago Tribune reporter Elaine Matsushita quoted Mountain Apple Co. Vice President Suzi Mechler on steps the company had taken to replenish the Windy City's stock of music from the late Israel Kamakawiwoole.

It seems area stores sold out following the May 9, Hawaii-shot, season-ending episode of the TV show "ER."

The "Somewhere Over the Rainbow/What a Wonderful World," medley may resurface in a summer episode of the FOX TV series "Pasadena."

Because we need to know these things from people who might be local, Mechler learned that Matsushita is not from Hawaii but has a friend who grew up here and stayed in Chicagoland after college.

Mechler suggested that had Matsushita played her cards right with her employer, "she could have done her research from the beach in Kailua."

Erika Engle is a reporter with the Star-Bulletin.
Call 529-4302, fax 529-4750 or write to Erika Engle,
Honolulu Star-Bulletin, 500 Ala Moana Blvd., No. 7-210,
Honolulu, HI 96813. She can also be reached

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