Wood Craft

By Ben Wood

Saturday, September 11, 1999

Aaron gets down
to business

AT 12 midnight last Saturday Nicholas Nickolas became Aaron's and staffers and some guests donned Aaron's T-shirts to Mug shotmark the occasion. Aaron Placourakis' Tri-Star Restaurant group now has full ownership of the restaurant. His partners are Jiro Noguchi and Al Souza. Aaron is enthusiastic about the $1 million renovation. "The work starts at 2 a.m.," Aaron said late Saturday night. "We'll be working three shifts 'round the clock. I'll be working with the first two shifts. We're doing 45 days of work in 15 days," he said, displaying his new construction hard hat. The restaurant reopens Sept. 24 ...

Neiman Marcus marks a year

Neiman Marcus marks its first birthday in Hawaii Friday with day-long events including entertainment, beverage and snack tastings, trunk shows and prizes. Neiman has a Festa d'Italia Sept. 23-Oct. 19, with Italian fashion, food, art and culture. A Hawaii Opera Theatre benefit fashion show and cocktail buffet is booked Sept. 23. Neiman's evening wear and fashions by Anne Namba will be shown; $50 ... A champagne party with food will be held at the Waikiki Prince next Saturday to benefit Ballet Hawaii; $100 ... David Paul's has wines by California's top women winemakers at a "Women of Wine" dinner Thursday; $60 ...

The Hilton Coral Ballroom blossomed with beauty Sunday during the Mrs. America Fashion Show Luncheon. Contestants modeled evening gowns and colorful costumes representing their states. Mrs. Hawaii Dede Guss received a big hand. Many of the town's stylish women attended. Nalani Bickson's table was particularly hot as it was filled with past and present models. Carolyn Bosanko, Maureen Gavin-Sweet, Maria Caprio, Kanoe Cazimero, Celyn Chong-Kee, Gianna Bickson, Marinna Crosetti and Sri Maiava Rusden surrounded Nalani. Sri owns More Models and manages Stacy Kamano. Stacy and Jason Mamoa are with "Baywatch." They modeled wedding attire. Mufi Hannemann and Mrs. America Renee Cairns emceed. The contest is Tuesday at the Hilton ...

Kenny Rogers had the Blaisdell Concert Hall audience in the palm of his hand last Saturday night. Working up a sweat, Rogers sang hit after hit, cracked jokes, tossed tambourines and frisbees to the audience and dropped $10 bills and a Rogers T-shirt on a front-row guest. Melveen Leed earned much applause as the opening act. Matt Catingub and the Symphony Pops orchestra were excellent, as usual. Their rendition of "Tiny Bubbles," with the brass section brandishing wine bottles and the crowd singing, was fun ... Marilyn Horne sings tonight with the Symphony and violinist Kyoko Takezawa is with the orchestra tomorrow and Tuesday at the concert hall ...

Varied and Contemporary art

Art lovers should hurry to Amfac and check out the major art exhibition sponsored by the Honolulu Japanese Chamber of Commerce. This year's 2-Dimensional winning artist is Jeff Tam, with Snowdon Hodges, second, and Timothy Ojile, third. The 3-Dimensional winner is Jodi Endicott, followed by Phyllis Murakami-Siu and Aaron Padilla. Outstanding Newcomer Award went to Mapuana Schneider, a solo Waikiki hula dancer in earlier years ... Tomorrow is the windup of the Contemporary Museum's two-day y'Art Sale, noon to 4 p.m. Garden-themed sculptures and art furniture by Jodi Endicott, John Koga, Mark Chai, Marshall Fergerstrom, Ron Smith and Bernie Moriaz are offered. Entry is free ...

Ben Wood, who sold the Star-Bulletin in the streets
of downtown Honolulu during World War II, writes of
people, places and things every Saturday.
E-mail him at

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