Erika Engle

Friday, January 21, 2005

P.F. Chang's China Bistro is coming to town, with its first Hawaii restaurant to be at the new Hokua high-rise. Above is a picture of a P.F. Chang's restaurant in Sunnyvale, Calif.

National chain of
Chinese restaurants
coming to Honolulu

P.F. Chang's China Bistro, a national chain of Chinese restaurants, will open a 282-seat bistro in the summer of 2006 on the ground floor of the new Hokua high-rise development near Victoria Ward Centers.

It will be the company's first eatery in Hawaii.

The Hawaii-based MacNaughton Group and its affiliate Cafe Hawaii Partners are the exclusive Hawaii licensees of P.F. Chang's China Bistro Inc., which will also bring its more casual Pei Wei Asian Diner concept to the islands. P.F. Chang's is publicly traded and is based in Scottsdale, Ariz.

MacNaughton and Cafe Hawaii have formed PFC Hawaii LLC to manage operations of the restaurant company's brand in the islands.

"Our group has a lot of valuable experience in introducing and operating highly respected and well-known retail and restaurant brands in the islands," Duncan MacNaughton said in a statement. He is chairman of the MacNaughton Group, which is developing Hokua along with the Kobayashi Group and A&B Properties.

"We are big fans of P.F. Chang's as customers and feel our organizations share similar cultures and values," said Cafe Hawaii President Greg Meier, in a statement.

Cafe Hawaii owns and operates Coffee Partners Hawaii and Cafe del Caribe, licensees of Starbucks Coffee in Hawaii and Puerto Rico, as well as licensees of Jamba Juice in Hawaii and Florida.

The first of at least three P.F. Chang's China Bistros in Hawaii will occupy about 7,500 square feet. The restaurants typically employ 125 to 150 staff members. The company will announce future sites when deals are finalized.

There are 114 P.F. Chang's in 32 states. The average check for lunch or dinner is $18, excluding drinks, according to P.F. Chang's spokeswoman Laura Cherry. The restaurants serve cuisine from the major regions of China including Sichuan, Canton, Shanghai, Hunan and Mongolia, she said.

The 53 Pei Wei Asian Diners in eight states serve Japanese, Thai, Korean and Vietnamese food as well as Chinese food, along with beer and wine, Cherry said. Customers order at the counter and may dine in, but "40 percent of the business is take-out," she said.

As a company, P.F. Chang's reported a 36 percent jump in fourth-quarter revenue on increased traffic and prices. For the three months ending Jan. 2, company revenue rose to $199.3 million from $146.1 million. Revenue at locations open at least one year rose 2 percent, while the company opened 13 restaurants during the period, according to an Associated Press report.

Happy anniversary

Meier made the first public announcement of the P.F. Chang's deal last night as the keynote speaker at a reception marking the 50th anniversary of Hawaii Business Magazine and its 2004 Black Book List profiling the state's top 250 business executives.

The first issue of the magazine, released in July 1955, was called Hawaii Engineer. In 1959 it was renamed Hawaii Industry, then it was renamed Hawaii Business and Industry in 1964. Five years later, the "and industry" reference was dropped and the magazine has been known as Hawaii Business ever since.

The magazine has a solid following among the Bishop Street business crowd, said Publisher Hoyt Zia.

"I think in a larger sense we want to make Hawaii Business ... a bigger contributor to the Hawaii business community and the Hawaii community at large," he said.

P.F. Chang's China Bistro
See the Columnists section for some past articles.

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 at: eengle@starbulletin.com

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