Like beef, o’ what?
Former travel agency owner Anela Lee is blazing a new life-trail with the newest Blazin' Steaks
The latest $6 steak-plate-lunchery in the chain opened at 10 a.m. yesterday at Windward City Shopping Center, because Lee's family and friends, including Andre Campbell, burned the midnight oil.
"They were working until 2 a.m.," she said, setting up equipment, assembling furniture and so on.
It was nowhere near ready for prime time after 5 p.m. Wednesday, as your columnist ventured to a neighboring ice creamery for 31-cent scoops.
She could not have done it without family and friends, she said.
On the counter, floral arrangements, a potted bamboo sprig and a lei-bedecked maneki nekko wished her luck.
The eight four-seat tables were full during the first day's lunch service, she said. About half the business was dine-in, the other half, take-out. The customer flow continued after lunch and she was bracing for both the after-school rush from nearby Castle High School and dinner time.
The menu is identical to other Blazin' Steaks outlets, which are sure to grow in number, as founder and franchisor Richard Craft Jr. is advertising franchises.
It offers $6 grilled steak, chicken or fish plates that come with rice, salad and a beverage. Fish or chicken choosers have a choice of sauces.
A 16-ounce steak plate is $10 and is billed as "too big to close," referring to the distinctive black foam box in which the meals are plated. Steaks are sliced for humbug-free grinding.
A blessing and grand opening is set for May 10, she said, with Hawaiian entertainment, comedy and prize give-aways.
Lee said she met Craft by accident. The more he talked about plans to open a new store, the more she knew she wanted in.
Lee will not try to run both the new restaurant and her more than decade-old Kama'aina Travel, which she is in the process of shutting down.
Rather, her efforts will focus on Blazin' Steaks, where the staff includes her mother Abbie Brown, her sons Ikaika Brown, Bryson and Makana Lee and daughter Titi Lee.
"They are all pau school," except for Bryson, a senior at Castle.
Jus' like Hawaii though, nieces, nephews and Bryson's girlfriend are also helping out, as Blazin' Steaks will be open from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sundays.
Its immediate neighbors include several quick-service restaurants including Subway, L&L Drive-Inn and the mother of them all, McDonald's. However, its neighbors also include many potential customers, including military recruiting offices and a fitness club that could just be full of protein-noshing members.
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: email@example.com