Aloha Friday's--two days early
UPDATE: Wednesday, June 20, 2007, 4:00 p.m.
The Waikiki T.G.I. Friday's restaurant will serve its last tonight, not Friday.
A spokeswoman for Friday's parent company apologized for any confusion and said it was confirmed today that the restaurant will close at the end of service tonight and that employees have been notified.
Bid farewell to Waikiki Friday's this Friday; Prize TV comes with aloha
THE other shoe will drop for T.G.I. Friday's on Friday, the last day of service for the 12-year-old eatery-and-drinkery in the Ohana Maile Sky Court Hotel at 2058 Kuhio Ave.
Joe Khoury, president of Wesco Restaurant Group of Hawaii Inc.
, issued a statement from Los Angeles announcing his sadness over the additional closing of the Waikiki location "at the end of this week."
That means Friday, according to Amy Freshwater, vice president of communications and public relations for Friday's parent company Carlson Restaurants Worldwide.
The handwriting was on the wall when the nearly 27-year old Ward location closed quietly and suddenly June 11 and franchisee Joe Khoury cited "challenging economic times and personal difficulties."
The closure affects about 50 employees, as did the Ward location's shuttering.
The restaurant business is groaning under the weight of increased competition, Wesco real estate consultant Stephany Sofos said yesterday.
"The resident population hasn't really increased and tourism hasn't increased," and with more restaurants in business, "the slices of the pie get thinner."
Carlson last week said it is looking for another franchisee to return Friday's to Oahu and expand it to Maui and Kauai.
Prize Television, a free-to-air satellite channel featuring minute-long giveaway shows, made its Singapore debut via broadcasts from Hawaii Pacific Teleport in Kapolei
HPT Vice President and Prize TV co-creator Vince Waterson is in Singapore for the launch, coinciding with CommunicAsia and Broadcast Asia, communications and entertainment related trade shows.
Grass-skirted models hired by Prize TV partner Mabuhay Satellite helped promote the launch and drew quite a few "aloha!" greetings from expo-goers, Waterson chuckled.
Prizes are given away to viewers who text message in, for a chance to win.
Revenue from messaging is split between wireless phone providers and Prize TV partners. There is also a financial incentive for Asian cable companies to "take down" the Prize TV signal from Mabuhay Satellite, Waterson said.
Prize TV's first prize, given to an attendee, was a Nokia phone with still and video cameras that can receive TV, valued at $700.
It is working to offer larger prizes such as travel packages and scholarships. Waterson would also like to give away "prizes such as houses." Deals with deep-pocketed home builders could change a family's life, he said.
Prize TV could come to Hawaii one day. "Yes, in fact, JCSAT-1B is very hot over the islands," Waterson said. However, as yet, Hawaii deals for Prize TV carriage have not been made.
is a reporter with the Star-Bulletin. Call 529-4747, 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