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And the Music Plays On…

By Alana Folen
December 16, 2012

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Kelii Kanealii and Miss Aloha Hula Healani Yuen

Kelii Kanealii and Miss Aloha Hula Healani Yuen

After more than 14 years, Chai’s Island Bistro in Aloha Tower Marketplace will officially close its doors Dec. 31. “Once we announced the closing, many of our longtime entertainers who’ve performed here in the past have called to ask if they could perform one last time,” says restaurant owner and chef Chai Chaowasaree, who’s been known to draw in Hawaii’s top entertainers to serenade guests on a regular basis. “Hapa’s Barry Flanagan was the first one who offered his support. Since Hapa was the first group to perform at Chai’s when we first opened, there’s no better way than to have them perform for our closing,” he adds.

Hapa is set to take the stage Dec. 30 and bid a fond farewell to this award-winning restaurant best known for its Pacific Rim cuisine. Other artists scheduled to perform this month include Jake Shimabukuro, Sista Robi Kahakalau, Jerry Santos, Kelii Kanealii, Brothers Cazimero, Danny Couch and Na Leo’s Lehua Kalima. All performances will take place at 7 p.m., and you can visit for specific performance dates.

Na Leo's Lehua Kalima

Na Leo’s Lehua Kalima

“I must say a big mahalo to my ohana of entertainers who have supported us from when we first opened until now,” Chaowasaree says.

And if you’re a fan of Chai’s cuisine, you’re in luck! Although Chai’s Island Bistro will no longer be, Chaowasaree will open a new restaurant on the ground floor of Honolulu Pacifica Building (1009 Kapiolani Blvd.) early next year. According to Chaowasaree, the restaurant will focus on healthier fare.

“There will be no butter at my new restaurant,” he explains. “I want to teach people how to eat healthier since, as they say, ‘You are what you eat.’

“To me, moderation is key. People have different dietary needs to suit their health-conscious lifestyle.”

And as a way of saying thanks to his loyal patrons, Chaowasaree is offering a special promotion. For one time only through the end of the month, you can purchase a $50 gift certificate for the price of $25, redeemable at Chaowasaree’s new restaurant in the coming months.

“Also, if you come for dinner this month we will give you a Chef Chai gift certificate worth $20. Don’t miss it,” Chaowasaree says.

Photos courtesy Chai’s Island Bistro