Thursday, November 13, 2003

Ruby Tuesday restaurant
chain coming to Mililani

Isle food and beverage businessmen Ted Davenport and Rick Nakashima are teaming with a Tennessee partner with Hawaii roots to bring the franchise restaurant Ruby Tuesday to Mililani.

The new 6,500-square-foot, free-standing restaurant, on the Mililani Town Center site formerly occupied by the I Love Country Cafe, is expected to open in February, seating up to 240 people plus another 26 at the bar.

Davenport, who became a Subway Restaurants franchisee in Honolulu in 1991, now is the district agent, overseeing nearly 90 Subway outlets in Hawaii. His local partner, Rick Nakashima, also was raised in Hawaii and has had extensive local food and beverage experience, according to a Ruby Tuesday news announcement.

When the two went to Tennessee to learn about the franchise, they met Will Keliinoi, whose family moved from Hawaii to Alabama when he was very young. Keliinoi came back to attend the University of Hawaii, but returned to the mainland and eventually became a kitchen manager at Ruby Tuesday.

By 1998, he was a managing partner in Ruby Tuesday in North Alabama and went on to teach restaurant operations at the company's training school in Knoxville, Tenn. That is where he met Davenport and Nakashima and decided to join them in the Mililani venture.

Davenport said his group is looking for locations for other Ruby Tuesday restaurants.

Ruby Tuesday Inc. is a publicly traded company that owns and operates 391 restaurants across the United States and has another 183 U.S. franchises as well as 16 in foreign countries.

It describes its sandwiches, ribs, steaks and dessert fare as family food at reasonable prices.


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