Hawaii chef Sam Choy is partnering with Hawaii Pacific University in the opening of a student dining facility at the school’s Aloha Tower Marketplace location.
Choy said today that the restaurant will open in about 18 months with a menu designed under his direction, but an independent company will handle daily operations.
“I’m writing the menus, doing the food concept, and they’re doing the legwork,” he said.
The restaurant, as yet unnamed, will serve the 270 students who live on the second floor of the marketplace, as well as the community at large.
“Visitors to the campus, who will be welcome to dine in the facility, will accentuate the diverse student experience HPU is known for,” HPU President John Gotanda said in a statement.
Choy said he is pleased to be regaining a restaurant presence in Honolulu, and not far from the site of his last Oahu restaurant, Sam Choy’s Breakfast, Lunch and Crab, which closed in 2013.
The chef has since launched a food-truck operation and a poke restaurant in Seattle, and opened another restaurant in Tacoma, Wash., on Wednesday. He also is a partner in a food truck at the Polynesian Cultural Center.
He said his menu for the HPU restaurant will include some Breakfast, Lunch and Crab favorites, such as the crab and Chinatown omelets. He also plans a build-your-own poke bowl station and “a nice, good pulehu steak.”
The student dining facility will open in the old Don Ho’s Island Grill space, along the waterfront.