New restaurant to open in historic Kona location
The eatery will take over the popular old Ocean View Inn spot
KAILUA-KONA, Hawaii » The new owners of a shuttered landmark local eatery on Alii Drive plan to reopen it as a new restaurant serving seafood and Pacific Rim cuisine.
The Monterey, Calif.-based Fish Hopper Restaurant, owned by partners Sabu Shake Jr. and Pat Corrigan, will have such dishes as macadamia nut-crusted mahimahi and filet mignon on the menu when the restaurant reopens.
The Ocean View Inn opened in 1934 and served "local food" for more than 70 years. Customers over the years included many celebrities. Lucille Ball, Desi Arnaz, Jimmy Stewart and Roy Rogers all ate in the Ocean View's large dining room.
But the restaurant across from the seawall in the heart of the Big Island village closed in August after the owners, the Kam family, decided to shut its doors.
"It's the greatest location in Kona," said Shake. "There are great views from the restaurant, it's within walking distance from the hotels and the shuttle boats from the cruise lines land right across the street."
Shake, whose father, the late Sabu Shake Sr., founded the Fisherman's Grotto in Monterey in 1950, said he had been looking at another site for a Kona restaurant. They had looked at the Ocean View site, but it was in the process of being sold to someone else, he said.
"But when we found out it had fallen out of escrow, we jumped at the chance," he said.
Shake said that although he's planning to remodel the Ocean View, he doesn't plan to change much about the appearance of the old building because he wants to retain the "plantation style" architecture.
Shake expects to hire 70 to 80 people, but said that may be difficult because of a labor shortage in Kona. The restaurant will eventually be open all day, but may start with only lunch and dinner, depending on the staffing, he said.