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Alan Wong ‘suspending’ restaurant operations

  • CINDY ELLEN RUSSELL / CRUSSELL@STARADVERTISER.COM
                                A masked-up chef Alan Wong holds a seafood soup that was part of the upscale takeout menu he’d been offering.

    CINDY ELLEN RUSSELL / CRUSSELL@STARADVERTISER.COM

    A masked-up chef Alan Wong holds a seafood soup that was part of the upscale takeout menu he’d been offering.

Chef Alan Wong has shut down his King Street restaurant, saying he will wait out the coronavirus upheaval with the hope of returning some time in the future.

Wong said he is calling it a “temporary suspension” of operations, not a closure. “We are pressing the pause button,” he said this morning. “We may reopen in a better time.”

The last day of service was Sunday night.

Wong, one of Hawaii’s most prominent chefs and a James Beard Foundation Award winner, just celebrated the 25th anniversary of Alan Wong’s.

The restaurant shut down during the first dining-room closure in March, but eventually reopened for takeout and in June began serving dine-in customers as well. Wong said the current stay-at-home order, which closed restaurant dining rooms beginning last week, made it economically unfeasible to continue.

“When you bleed you put on a Band-Aid or a tourniquet, but you’re still bleeding,” he said.

Many restaurants are facing the same hard choice, Wong said, and it is impossible to predict when reopening will be practical. It’s not just an economic decision, he said. “It’s also about our staff and guests staying healthy and safe.”

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