Padovani’s Restaurant giving up on Doubletree Alana location
Philippe Padovani opened his restaurant to rave reviews eight years ago at the Doubletree Alana Hotel in Waikiki, but one problem could never be corrected -- so it will likely close at the end of the year.
"The clientele in the (Doubletree Alana) hotel do not match the clients who would frequent his restaurant," said attorney and restaurant partner Keith Kiuchi. The hotel is operated by Hilton Hotels, which could not be reached for comment.
Padovani and an earlier partner spent $3.5 million building Padovani's Restaurant & Wine Bar, which the partners hate to vacate. But neither Padovani and Kiuchi nor the hotel want to renew the lease, which expires at the end of the year, Kiuchi said. Hilton is cooperating in the transition, Kiuchi said.
The restaurant won accolades as Gourmet Magazine's Best French Restaurant in Hawaii and won the Best Award of Excellence from Wine Spectator magazine.
Padovani's is "the only restaurant on the island that won the Wine Spectator Award of Excellence three times, and do we get any PR off of that? ... nothing from the Hilton," Kiuchi said.
Padovani "has made a go of it more than anybody else has. He's tried."
"The other problem is that as a hotel restaurant, he's had to serve breakfast and lunch," Kiuchi said, adding that his partner "is an amazing chef and I'd put him up against anybody." However, "you don't have Rembrandt doing a house painting job," Kiuchi said.
"This town can't support a restaurant like this," Padovani said. "If it could, where are all the local people?" He has mainland and international diners who ebb and flow with visitor numbers. "It's up and down and you can't work up and down," said the chef.
Padovani's San Francisco restaurant was shuttered in November last year.
"It was unprofessional media (in San Francisco) ... that doesn't want to talk about the restaurant," Padovani said. The right restaurant reviewers stayed away in droves, he said, even though "we were putting out incredible food" for a year and a half.
The restaurant company filed Chapter 11 bankruptcy in February and Padovani and his wife filed for personal Chapter 7 liquidation on Friday, beating the start of a more-stringent bankruptcy law.
The Waikiki restaurant employs 35 people, most of whom Kiuchi suspects would be rehired by a new operator. One employee may follow Padovani into the chocolate manufacturing business, for which he is seeking investors.
In the meantime, it will be business as usual at Padovani's until the end of the year. Padovani is preparing to load up the restaurant's cruvinet, or specialized wine dispenser, with featured wines for the holiday season, including Opus One.
Conde Nast congrats
Another year, another series of honors for Hawaii in the 2005 Conde Nast Traveler readers' choice poll. The magazine's November issue, to hit newsstands Tuesday, lists the Four Seasons Hualalai on the Big Island, the Lodge at Koele on Lanai and Halekulani on Oahu as the top three Pacific Rim Resorts. Maui and Kauai were named Top Islands in the Pacific Rim, ranking first and second ahead of third-place Bora Bora.
Nearly 28,000 travelers participated in this year's survey.
The potential embarrassment of going to work in costume may pay off on Oct. 31, if you or your business has a printing job to get done.
The four Oahu locations of Best Printing will give costume-clad customers a 10 percent discount on printing and copy orders placed on Halloween. The shops are at 1411 Kapiolani Blvd., 1001 Bishop St., 700 Bishop St. and 900 Fort Street Mall.
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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: firstname.lastname@example.org