RAYMOND "BUZZ" SCHNEIDER
Steakhouse founder is considered an isle legend
Raymond Valentine Buzz Schneider, founder of Buzz's Original Steak House in Lanikai, died Monday in Castle Medical Center. He was 78.
"Buzz Schneider was the king of Hawaii at one point in his life," said Kelsey Sears, a longtime friend. "He was a legend."
"Buzz Schneider was a man's man, a ladies' man and a Renaissance man," recalled Harry Meyer, one of his closest friends. "He was brilliant, combative, funny, movie-star handsome and irreverent. Anyone who didn't look at Buzz with a quizzical awe never met him. In his mind he was the original Zorro."
Schneider had an instinct for combining informal island-style eating with a superior steakhouse menu, said daughter Pi'ilani Schneider.
In 1960 he opened Buzz's Steak and Lobster on Beachwalk Avenue in Waikiki, with the then-unique feature of a salad bar, she said. In 1962 he opened Buzz's Original Steak House in Lanikai.
Unlike other salad-bar restaurants, Schneider kept serving the entire meal on one dish. "He'd serve the meat from a wooden platter onto the salad plate, which was smeared with the remains of salad dressing. Rubbing the steak in with the salad dressing -- mmm, that was his favorite flavor of all," said Pi'ilani Schneider. "He loved to eat."
Schneider was born in Elmhurst, Ill.
He is also survived by children Mani, Christian, Jiffy and Kaleo; sister Honey Hilldebrecht; and six grandchildren.
Services will be at 9:30 a.m. April 9 at Kailua Beach Boat Ramp. In lieu of flowers, donations are suggested to Castle Medical Center.