SPECIAL TO NHN
The Eddie Aikau Restaurant & Surf Museum opened its doors Sunday at Kings’ Shops in Waikoloa Beach Resort, surrounded by a large crowd of well-wishers, including hundreds of fans of the legendary big wave surfer.
Present for the grand opening were numerous members of the Aikau family, including Eddie’s brothers Clyde and Solomon, sister Myra, Eddie’s wife Linda Ipsen and representatives of the Eddie Aikau Foundation. Professional surfers Shane Dorian, Dave Wassel, China Uemura and Glen Moncata of Quiksilver made an appearance as did NBA star David Robinson of the San Antonio Spurs.
Kahu Billy Mitchell, who presides at the Quiksilver in Memory of Eddie Aikau surf meet on Oahu, performed the blessing. He praised Eddie as a heroic role model, and saluted the restaurant for providing work opportunity on Hawaii Island, especially for young people.
Afterwards, guests were invited inside for a sneak preview reception of the two-story lakeside restaurant which features a collection of memorabilia from Eddie Aikau’s life and surf career. Surfboards, posters, photos and other items are on display, as well as a large mural of the Hawaiian double-hulled voyaging canoe Hokule’a.
Grand opening festivities included live Hawaiian music by Kevin Teves, Lena, Paula Fuga, Mike Love and Sam Ites, along with an “ugly surfboard contest” hosted by “Gumby” of Native FM during a live remote broadcast. The grand opening was profiled on KGMB TV Hawaii News Now Sunday night.
The restaurant is locally owned and operated, a collaboration between Brandon Lee, Ryan Lee, Alexander Ferguson and Keoni Regidor, the Honoka’a Brothers LLC, and Hawaiian Cahuilla Inc., owned by Waimea residents Linda Gillette and Solomon Aikau.
Executive Chef Scott Lutey is creating a new “Contemporary Hawaiian Cuisine” for the restaurant spotlighting fresh, sustainable Hawaii food products. During an unannounced trial run on Saturday, Lutey talked to customers to get their feedback on the food. One couple he spoke with had been sitting outside Eddie’s, and overheard the conversations of diners as they left the restaurant.
“They said they heard so many good things from the people coming out, that they thought we were paying people to walk around and talk about the food!” said Lutey. “I assured them we weren’t, and I think they were really happy they came in and found out for themselves.”
“Eddie’s” is open for lunch and dinner daily as of Monday, July 4. For more information, about the Eddie Aikau Restaurant & Surf Museum, call 886-8433 visit EddieAikauRestaurants.com (coming soon).