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Mexican restaurant Cocina will take The Whole Ox spot in Kakaako

By Star-Advertiser staff

LAST UPDATED: 10:27 a.m. HST, Sep 21, 2013

Cocina, a Mexican restaurant run by Chef Quinten Frye, will be taking the place of  The Whole Ox Deli, which is closing Saturday.

Cocina posted news of its opening at the Keawe Street location in Kakaako on its facebook page.

The post said Cocina will open Oct. 1 and operate until the owner, Kamehameha Schools, redevelops the space in about six months.

Frye, a San Antonio native, worked at the 12th Ave. Grill and later helped Honolulu restaurateur Kevin Hanney open Salt Kitchen & Tasting Bar.

The Whole Ox Deli dazzled customers with burgers made with local, grass-fed beef. Management changes earlier this year brought native New Yorker Justin Yu to Honolulu, who tried to update the menu and said at the time he would be "utilizing every single aspect of Hawaii ... to run my kitchen."

Chef Yu had different thoughts this week and said weeks of construction on Keawe and Auahi streets paired with declining crowds meant the restaurant would have to close following Saturday's monthly "Honolulu Night Market" street festival. There are no plans to reopen the restaurant, he added.

The Whole Ox will be open for lunch from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday with a final, late-night dinner service that will serve as an official send-off from 9:30 p.m. to 1 a.m.

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