Palama Supermarket will likely roll out on-the-go food services for the first time in the Hawaii Pacific University-owned Aloha Tower Marketplace now under renovation, company executives confirmed to PBN on Monday.
“They were looking for a smaller convenience market/prepared food type of vendor to provide a grocery store to the students and faculty members who are going to be living in the dorms over there and provide foods that can be purchased daily and eaten immediately,” said Palama Supermarkets Chief Operations Officer Daniel Lim, whose parents, Hyo Kyu and Hae Joo Lim, founded the Oahu grocery store chain 38 years ago. “For us, it was a good fit. I think working with them will benefit all of us, so we decided to pursue it further. At this point, it’s pretty much a sure thing that we’re going in there, but we’re still in lease negotiations at this point.”
In all, HPU officials last week released the names of seven tenants, including Palama Supermarket, who have agreed to join Hooters, Gordon Biersch Brewery Restaurant, The Cab, and Star of Honolulu in the retail and shopping complex now undergoing a $50 million facelift.
Other retailers and restaurants disclosed by university officials include Nashville Waikiki, which is slated to open during the Labor Day weekend; Taco Del Mar; Subway; Boston Pizza; a ramen shop; and a rotisserie chicken restaurant.
So far, only Nashville Waikiki, a popular country bar that closed in March, has signed a lease to operate in the former Fat Tuesday space between Gordon Biersch Brewery Restaurant and Hooters.
Though specific details, such as a projected opening date or a specific space in the complex, have not been determined yet, Lim said the decision to have Palama Supermarkets try out a convenience store concept makes sense even though it is more known for its variety of ethnic food options.
“I think part of it is the popularity of Asian food — our niche actually is the Korean market,” Lim said. “We’re seeing that the trend for our customers is starting to blur, so you see a lot of local customers coming in and trying Korean food. Because of that blurring there, we’re also able to create other items and not just the Korean foods that we have … so we’re able to provide breakfast or even like a lunch bento or something like that and it wouldn’t be a problem for us.”
Pacific Business News