Hilton hosting private party to show off latest upgrade


POSTED: Friday, June 26, 2009

Tropics Bar & Grill officially opens tonight with a private party worthy of the $11 million, eight-month renovation that turned the former Hilton Hawaiian Village showroom into an indoor and outdoor dining spot with unparalleled views of Waikiki Beach.

Despite the down economy, Hilton is rolling out all the stops for some 400 private guests with an extravaganza headlined by Cecilio & Kapono and other entertainment by Don Tiki of retro-music fame and ukulele player Taimane. Evening fireworks will add further sizzle to the event.

And, though there's hardly need to improve on the ambience of the beach at sunset, Hilton executive chef Jeffrey Vigilla has created food displays, including a fungal jungle and a salad garden, to spotlight the local Hamakua mushrooms and Nalo Farms Garden Greens that have been heavily featured in the newly reopened restaurant's menu.

“;Tropics is all about food, fun and ambience,”; said Brian Keys, the village's director of food and beverages. “;The menu is authentic beach cuisine in a friendly, upbeat atmosphere.”;

Since Tropics Bar & Grill is the last of several major projects completed by Hilton, it was important to host a party to share it with the community, said Jerry Gibson, area vice president of Hilton Hawaii. Other recently completed village projects include the Duke Kahanamoku Lagoon, the Grand Waikikian Tower and the Paradise Pool, Gibson said.

“;These projects are our contribution to the revitalization and beautification of Waikiki,”; he said. “;Our grounds are for the kamaaina to enjoy as well, and we want to share our improvements with our friends and neighbors in the community.”;