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Chef Mavro sells restaurant, will stay in kitchen


    Jeremy Shigekane, left, has taken over as owner of Chef Mavro from founder George Mavrothalassitis

Chef Mavro, the King Street restaurant opened in 1998 by James Beard Foundation Award-winning chef George Mavrothalassitis, has a new owner, the restaurant announced Monday.

Chef Jeremy Shigekane, who has served as the restaurant’s executive chef for the past three years, took ownership on March 1, but the staff was not told until Saturday.

The restaurant name will remain the same and Mavrothalassitis will continue to work in the kitchen each night. Both chefs promise that diners can expect the restaurant’s multicourse meals, emphasizing fresh, local ingredients via seasonal menus, to continue.

“Guests shouldn’t feel dramatic changes to the cuisine,” Shigekane said. “I want to progress the restaurant, but within the style of the restaurant.”

Mavrothalassitis said he had been looking “for a while” for someone to take over the business, while Shigekane hoped to own his own restaurant someday. Mavrothalassitis will continue to collaborate with Shigekane on menu development and mentor him on running the business, Food & Beverage Associates, dba Chef Mavro.

The restaurant has undergone a few changes under Shigekane’s ownership, including vegan and vegetarian menu options and a revamped space with 40 seats instead of 70, with larger tables and a higher level of comfort.

“We’re a luxury restaurant, a special-occasion restaurant. We want guests to feel that luxury from the moment they sit down,” Shigekane said.

Shigekane was chef de cuisine at Hoku’s at The Kahala Hotel & Resort prior to joining Chef Mavro in 2014. In 2015, he left to become executive sous chef at the Royal Hawaiian Hotel, returning to Chef Mavro in 2016 as executive chef.

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