Thursday, November 5, 1998

By Ken Sakamoto, Star-Bulletin
Brew Moon chief executive officer Elliot Feiner's
company is spending $2.5 million to open the 280-seat restaurant.

Brew Moon rises
at Ward Centre

The company CEO finds it easy
doing business here

By Russ Lynch


AT a time when a number of well-known Hawaii restaurants have closed and wholesale food suppliers are cutting back, some in the industry were asking why anyone would spend $2.5 million to open a restaurant here.

But the operators of the 280-seat Brew Moon, which opens Monday in Ward Centre, say they have been able to use Hawaii's stagnant economy to their advantage,

Elliot Feiner, chief executive officer of Boston-based Brew Moon Enterprises Inc., said yesterday there have been many more qualified employees applying for work than were needed for the 100 to 150 jobs that are being filled.

"We see the other side on the mainland, where jobs are so plentiful it's difficult to find good workers," Feiner said.

Plus, there seems to be a recognition at the government level that helping, not hindering, new businesses is the way to go, he said.

"We've had a good experience in doing business in Hawaii," he said, with all the permits and other approvals the restaurant needed coming swiftly with no complications.

The company also had praise for Ward Centre owner Victoria Ward Ltd., which "has shown what an aggressive landlord is like," Feiner said.

He said the landlord quickly agreed to such changes as installing an elevator from the ground floor directly into the restaurant and providing free valet parking at the entrance to the elevator.

"Everybody came to the table with solutions," said Frank Miler, Brew Moon's design and construction director.

By Ken Sakamoto, Star-Bulletin
Brewer Brennan Fielding takes samples at the Brew
Moon restaurant at Ward Centre.

Added Fred Rash, Brew Moon senior vice president: "There's a perception that it's difficult to do business in Hawaii. We were told we'd have to deal with five, six or seven different food vendors."

That turned out not to be so. The restaurant contracted with one supplier, Y. Hata & Co., to fill all its supply needs, said Rash, who is responsible for day-to-day operations.

The restaurant occupies the second-floor space at the downtown end of Ward Centre that was used by the long-closed Monterey Bay Canners restaurant.

Brew Moon ripped everything out and rebuilt it, putting in a lanai on the mauka side that the operators believe will be popular with local residents.

It is brewing its own beers through a high-technology system that has highly visible stainless steel tanks and pipes.

The executives said they also were happy with the work of the local contractor, J. Kadowaki Inc., saying the work here was as good as any done in their five other restaurant/brew pub properties on the mainland.

In two years or so, Brew Moon will go public with a stock issue that will bring the employees in as shareholders, he said.

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