Two Oahu restaurants have permanently closed, both citing the effects of COVID-19.
The Top of Waikiki on Kalakaua Avenue and Viaggio Honolulu on Ward Avenue will not reopen even though the emergency shutdown order on dining at restaurants has been lifted.
Top of Waikiki was Hawaii’s only remaining revolving restaurant, known for its 360-degree views of Oahu.
“Tourists made up 80% of our business, and the future outlook for tourism does not look good,” said Leighton Mau, CEO of Waikiki Business Plaza, where the restaurant was located for 55 years.
“At 100% capacity and in a good economy a restaurant can be run profitably. But with a business that can achieve only 50% of its normal revenue, it is not financially feasible to remain open,” Mau added in a statement Monday.
Executive chef Lance Kosaka, who has just moved to 53 By the Sea, said he had a great six-year experience at Top of Waikiki. “We had a good team and were treated well.”
SKY Waikiki, which also occupies the top of the Waikiki Business Plaza, will reopen on an undetermined date, owner Hide Sakurai said Tuesday.
“We were known more as a nightclub, but will be rebranding more toward locals, and more toward food, and casual, a place where you can wear slippers,” Sakurai said. “But we still have to wait and see what is happening with the travel ban.”
Viaggio executive chef Jeff Vigilla said owners of the Italian restaurant inside the Velocity luxury car dealership decided reopening would be “unsustainable,” especially now that social distancing restrictions would hold seating to 50% of dining room capacity.
The restaurant tried takeout service, but gave that up in early April after it proved unprofitable. Vigilla continued to use the kitchen to prepare meals for various charities.
“The good thing in this is that we were able to donate about $10,000 worth of food to kupuna and others in need,” he said.