Worldwide franchise finds roots in Hawaii
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If you’ve ever visited a Ruby Tuesday on the mainland, you’ve probably noticed something a little different about its locations here in Hawaii.
All five Ruby Tuesday Hawaii restaurants display oil paintings and china plates, standard décor at more than 540 locations worldwide.
However, the décor at the Hawaii locales also include beautifully framed LPs, many autographed, from island icons like Gabby Pahinui, Don Ho and Danny Kaleikini.
And every Hawaii location proudly displays items from its own surrounding community.
“At our Mililani restaurant, we have military photos from friends who were officers at Schofield Barracks,” says Rick Nakashima, co-owner of Ruby Tuesday Hawaii. “At Windward Mall, we have the track jersey of Olympic gold medal ‘decathlete’ Bryan Clay, who went to Castle High.”
For Nakashima, the memorabilia is a connection to the community. His favorite examples, however, are displayed at Ruby Tuesday Kapolei: photos of several friends from the Waianae family that produced sports legends like Sista Palakiko, who helped win national volleyball championships for the University of Hawaii’s (UH) Rainbow Wahine.
“Sista and her brother Nate Fletcher were student athletes at UH when I coached track there in 1983,” Nakashima reveals.
At each location, elegant décor with island flair provides a delicious backdrop for this week’s featured dishes. California Primavera Pasta ($16.29; add chicken for $4 or shrimp for $5), a new entrée, includes fresh grilled vegetables and cavatappi (corkscrew) pasta tossed in a light lemon basil sauce.
Nakashima is a big fan of Teri Flatiron Steak Plate ($16.99), served on a bed of rice and accompanied by the side of your choice. “It’s 8 ounces of flat-iron steak, a really good cut I call the ‘frugal man’s filet mignon.'”
And if you go for breakfast at Ruby Tuesday, check out A.T.M. Benedict ($11.99), with sliced avocado, tomatoes and garlic mushrooms.
Five locations statewide:
Kapolei, Mililani, Moanalua Center and Windward Mall (on Oahu); and Kihei, Maui
Daily, 8 a.m.-9 p.m. (all locations); happy hour daily, 3-6 p.m.