Japanese company gears up for major restaurant expansion in Hawaii

HAWAII KAI, OAHU (HawaiiNewsNow) -
A Japanese business is counting on its recipe for success with its plan to open 20 new restaurants in Hawaii in the next five to six years. The first one, Gokoku Sushi, launches in a little more than a week at the Koko Marina Center. The eatery features a sushi and tempura bar with a view of the water.

“We do typical Japanese plus something really more creative for a new type of menu,” explained Masayoshi Kurita, vice president of Pierthirty USA.

Pierthirty already operates more than 200 restaurants in Japan and China. The Hawaii expansion will create jobs for up to 700 people, according to Kurita.

“In Japan, the restaurant group has about six or seven restaurant concepts. They vary from a tempura bar to an Italian bakery to noodle shops,” said business advisor Jo McGarry of MoJo The Business of Food.

Pierthirty expects to unveil an Italian bakery and a tempura restaurant in the new Bloomingdale’s wing at Ala Moana Center next fall. The company is also looking at locations in Kapolei and Waikiki.

“I’m sure that they will be successful. I don’t know if they will actually end up opening 20 restaurants, but if they open up one or many, I’m confident that they will do it well and they will be successful,” said Roger Morey, executive director the Hawaii Restaurant Association.

Morey said he welcomes the new competition in the industry.

“I don’t think it’s going to hurt any solid performing restaurant,” said Morey. “It might affect their business, but not in the long run. There’s room for growth. There’s room for competition.”

Gokoku Sushi is Pierthirty’s first restaurant in the United States. The company hopes to continue growing, with the launch of new locations on the mainland in the near future.

“It’s not easy and we do realize it’s ambitious, and we are really just trying to build a team that will have an impact in Hawaii in the best way for the longest time,” said McGarry.

The grand opening festivities begin on December 9. The restaurant opens to the public on December 14.

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Japanese company gears up for major restaurant expansion in Hawaii
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