Erika Engle

Louis Vuitton
will cost about
2 dozen local jobs

Louis Vuitton Hawaii is integrating with Louis Vuitton North America to take advantage of business growth for both operations, the Hawaii division said in a statement. But the move will cost about nearly two dozen local jobs.

The Louis Vuitton statement was released yesterday, a few days after the Hawaii operation notified the state Department of Labor and Industrial Relations that 20 employees would be terminated over the next few months.

Officials have not returned repeated calls about the job cuts, but indicated in yesterday's statement that "there will be some changes internally, both in terms of personnel and the way we will conduct operations." No stores will be closed.

Kyojiro Hata will remain as chairman of Louis Vuitton Hawaii but there will be changes for other level executives.

Roger Finnie, executive vice president and chief operating officer of Louis Vuitton Hawaii, will move to Japan to become chief financial officer of Louis Vuitton Japan Group KK; Louis Vuitton North America President and Chief Executive Jean-Marc Gallot will become CEO of Louis Vuitton Hawaii; and Dale Ruff has been promoted to regional vice president of stores for Louis Vuitton Hawaii.

Hola to Kailua

A Kaneohe favorite is expanding to Kailua.

Agustin Cardenas, owner of nearly 4-year-old Mexico Lindo restaurant on Kahuhipa Street, is preparing to open a new, slightly larger second restaurant, in Kailua Shopping Center. The 1,700-square-foot restaurant employs more than a dozen workers and will seat 57 diners for breakfast, lunch and dinner seven days a week. The original Mexico Lindo seats about 52.

The eatery will be a far cry from Otaru, the Japanese sushi restaurant it is replacing -- though seafood will be a big part of Mexico Lindo's menu, said Cardenas, originally from Guadalajara.

Guanajuato, Mexico-born Chef Jose Morales will lead the kitchen side of the Kailua opening, which hungry folks can expect "by Wednesday for sure," Cardenas said.

Menu items will range from $2.75 to $17.00, with seafood diablo, fresh, char-broiled fish and steaks or combinations thereof at the upper end. Mexico Lindo Kailua will be open from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Thursday, from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Friday, and from 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, when the restaurant will offer a brunch menu.

There's no alcohol service, but no matter the meal time, diners are invited to bring their own. "We provide a bucket of ice," said bookkeeper Roslyn Liu.

See the Columnists section for some past articles.

Erika Engle is a reporter with the Star-Bulletin. Call 529-4302, 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: eengle@starbulletin.com

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