Savor the Moment: Kuilei Place Welcomes Aoki Group Restaurants

At Kuilei Place, new life blooms with the news that Aoki Group will be opening restaurant concepts on the residence’s ground level. With deep roots in Honolulu, Aoki Group has established multiple restaurants and cafés, becoming local favorites, including Doraku Sushi, Herringbone Waikīkī, Bluetree Café, and 1938 Indochine. Led by esteemed restaurateur Kevin Aoki, each concept embodies a profound commitment to fostering connections over delicious food, a perfectly poured espresso, or a refreshing cold-pressed juice.

“We’re thrilled that Aoki Group will be joining Kuilei Place. No matter the concept, they always deliver an innovative experience with a great vibe,” says Alana Kobayashi Pakkala, EVP of Kobayashi Group. “As industry leaders, their dedication to quality and service is exceptional and I’m excited to welcome them into our growing community.”

Inspired by the ethos of “making friends with food,” the Aoki Group’s journey began with Doraku in 2008. However, this tradition of bringing people together spans generations, with Kevin’s father, Rocky Aoki, pioneering the legendary Benihana restaurant chain, and his grandfather, Yunosuke, establishing the family’s culinary roots with a coffee shop in Japan in 1942.

Known for cycling up to 10 miles daily to procure sugar, a rare commodity at the time, Yunosuke generously provided it to customers at his café to enhance their experience. The family credits his unwavering dedication to his customers for sparking their commitment to quality—a legacy that continues to flourish.

“We are excited to be a part of Kuilei Place,” says Kevin Aoki, President and CEO of Aoki Group. “With more than 7,000 square feet of retail and restaurant space, we’re looking forward to bringing something exciting to the neighborhood.”

As Aoki Group takes root at Kuilei Place, these culinary gems will not only enhance the lives of residents of Kuilei Place, but will also become a dynamic dining venue, enriching the entire neighborhood with their delicious offerings and vibrant atmosphere.