September 29, 2023

Author: Hawaii Hui


SEC Charges Hawaii Man for Stock and Crypto Scheme

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) filed a complaint on Friday alleging that a Hawaii man manipulated a company’s stock price by fabricating documents and anonymously posting them online—going as far as suggesting the asset would be converted into a cryptocurrency for even larger returns.

Jeremy Koski, 45, of Kapaau, Hawaii, was charged with securities fraud for allegedly posting fake notices about the early redemption of bonds issued by retailer J.C. Penney Co., which boosted the stock price of the bonds, known as COTRP. He then allegedly created fake press releases about COTRP converting to a cryptocurrency to further inflate the stock.

According to the complaint, Koski posted the bogus redemption notices on and in May 2021 under different usernames, causing COTRP’s stock price to spike 75 percent. The notices falsely claimed on U.S. Bank letterhead that J.C. Penney bonds held in trust were being redeemed early at full value.

Months later, Koski allegedly fabricated COTRP press releases announcing the company would convert to a cryptocurrency and allow stockholders to recover the full $25 face value per share. The complaint says Koski paid to publish the fake releases through online distribution services.

The SEC alleges that Koski knew the documents were fabricated. The complaint says that during the stock price spike, he sold some of his COTRP shares for a profit. Koski reportedly owned about 7 percent of the outstanding COTRP shares.

“Mr. Koski’s alleged market manipulation scheme sought to generate interest in a thinly traded stock by creating and spreading fake documents,” said SEC Regional Director Antonia Apps of the New York office. “With his lies exposed, Koski will have to answer for his fraudulent actions.”

The SEC complaint charges Koski with violating antifraud provisions of federal securities laws. The Commission is seeking injunctions, civil monetary penalties, and a bar prohibiting Koski from participating in penny stock offerings.

Koski could not be reached for comment on the charges Friday. The SEC said its investigation was conducted with assistance from the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York and the FBI.

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Mugen Restaurant in Waikīkī Launches New Breakfast Menu

Mugen, the Forbes five-star rated restaurant at Espacio in Waikīkī, has launched its new breakfast menu, expanding the offering to the public after previously being exclusive to hotel guests.

The reimagined breakfast experience displays the culinary artistry of celebrated Pastry Chef Jamon Harper. The Mugen menu draws on quality ingredients, featuring dishes such as:

A modern version of the Hawaiian Loco Moco, including Miyazaki A5 Wagyu, Tsuyahime rice, veal jus, and a Waialua quail egg. ($65)

A house-made King Salmon Gravlax accompanied by creamy burrata, heirloom tomato, red onion, capers, lemon, and focaccia toast. ($28)

Lemon Ricotta Pancakes flavored with mango-lilikoi curd and compressed pineapple. ($19)

A luxurious Lobster Eggs Benedict on a bacon gruyère biscuit, paired with black truffle hollandaise and Kupu Farms microgreens. ($45)

In a concerted effort to emphasize local connections, Mugen’s breakfast features cacao from Mānoa Chocolate and coffee and teas exclusively blended by Tea Leaves and Tradition Coffee in Kailua on Oahu. For those seeking an additional indulgence, the menu offers mimosas by the glass or Champagne paired with freshly squeezed orange juice.

Reservations for breakfast at Mugen can be secured through OpenTable for service between 7 a.m. and 10 a.m. daily. As Mugen prepares for its dinner service reopening in the coming months, the restaurant continues to be available for private events.

For additional details, interested parties can visit

About Mugen

Mugen is elevating Hawaii’s status as a destination for culinary travel with its global cuisine. Rated five-stars by the prestigious Forbes Travel Guide, Mugen curates Espacio’s culinary offerings, from amenities and catered events to its distinguished restaurant service.

About ESPACIO The Jewel of Waikiki

Espacio (The Jewel of Waikiki) is an Omotenashi-inspired ultra-luxury hotel on Waikiki Beach with nine suites on nine floors. For two years running, it is the only hotel in Hawaii to be awarded prestigious Forbes five-star ratings for the hotel and its onsite fine dining restaurant, Mugen, as well as the AAA five diamond designation. Guests can expect a completely private, luxury experience. Each residential-style, 2,250 square-foot suite occupies an entire floor with three bedrooms, three bathrooms, a hot spa-clad ocean view balcony, a dry sauna, chef’s grade kitchen, and a discreet elevator entry.

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Capriotti’s Sandwich Shop Opens First Hawaii Location in Kahala

Honolulu residents with a craving for extraordinary sandwiches now have a new destination to satisfy their taste buds. Capriotti’s Sandwich Shop, a nationally recognized restaurant chain, opened its first Hawaii location at 4210 Waialae Ave., across from Kahala Mall on Monday.

The Honolulu Capriotti’s marks the 158th location nationally for the Las Vegas-based franchise, famed for its hand-crafted sandwiches.

The first Hawaii location occupies a 1,200-square-foot space off the H1 Freeway next to Kahala MKT. Customers are welcomed into what the company describes as a dining oasis with plentiful parking, and an option to dine-in or carry out.

Capriotti’s maintains a 40-year tradition of slow-roasting whole, all-natural turkeys in-house daily. The menu includes a wide range of offerings such as Turkey Subs, American Wagyu, Cheese Steaks, Classic Sandwiches, Vegetarian Sandwiches, and Salads. Notably, the shop’s The Bobbie sandwich, featuring slow-roasted turkey topped with cranberry sauce, handmade stuffing, and mayo, has been hailed as “The Greatest Sandwich in America” by

High-end offerings are also part of Capriotti’s appeal, with the exclusive addition of Snake River Farms beef, offering American Wagyu previously only found in upscale steakhouses.

The opening of Capriotti’s in Hawaii is a venture by Soojung Heu and her husband, Chase Heu, who together boast over 50 years of experience in the hospitality industry. “We are ecstatic to have this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to bring what we feel are the best sandwiches of true quality to Hawaii for the first time,” Soojung Heu said in a statement.

Founded in 1976, Capriotti’s has carved out a reputation for remaining true to its tradition of slow-roasting whole turkeys in-house, providing cold, grilled, and vegetarian subs, cheesesteaks, and salads at more than 150 locations across the United States. With a planned expansion to over 500 locations by 2025 and having ranked on Fast Casual’s Top Movers & Shakers List for three consecutive years (2020-22), Capriotti’s shows no sign of slowing down.

Those in Honolulu ready for an extraordinary meal can visit the Capriotti’s at 4210 Waialae Ave. or pre-order online at or through the CAPAddicts Rewards app.

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Mural Artist Featured in Beginner’s NFT Session

NFTs, or non-fungible tokens (NFT), have a mixed reputation, but the have been embraced by many in the arts as a meaningful way to embrace digital sales and online exhibition. On August 16, a local mural artist will be featured in an in-person learning session about NFTs titled, “What the Heck Are NFTs?“

The NFT market was valued at USD20.44 billion last year, and despite the current dip in the market, is expected to continue to grow over the next several years. The learning session, continuing the “NFT for Good” event series launched in 2021, is geared towards anyone who is new to and curious about NFTs. Attendees will learn about what NFTs are, how they are used today and the potential the technology presents for creators and businesses.

The session will be led by Ellen Ng, who previously led many of the Hawaii state government’s digital asset initiatives. Today she is the founder of Inoa, a consulting firm dedicated to helping creators, businesses, nonprofits and civic organizations learn about and leverage the power of non-fungible tokens and e-commerce.

Prior to managing the state Digital Currency Innovation Lab, Ng’s global corporate experience in technology include stints with LG Electronics and Samsung. Ellen was selected by Pacific Business News as a 40 Under 40 Honoree in 2021.

The event will also feature Honolulu-born artist Jana Ireijo. She is the founder of “Mural Ethos: Vanishing Murals,” for which she uses non permanent mediums such as charcoal from wildfires and earth pigments to create “vanishing” murals that illustrate the effects of the environment due to climate change, as well as the corresponding issue of environmental justice. The murals are temporary and return to earth with the elements.

Ireijo is of Chinese, Okinawan, and Polynesian descent and graduated with a BFA in Graphic Design from the University of Hawaii at Manoa and an MFA in Painting from the Pratt Institute in Brooklyn. Recent works include a Vanishing Coral Reef mural for The Nature Conservancy in Maui, which has also been curated by Judy Chicago into the Turner Carroll Gallery’s “Solstice: Create Art for Earth” exhibition in Santa Fe, New Mexico.

The event is co-sponsored by the Oak+Pine Community and Gather Co-Working, and furthers the collective mission to onboard more women into technology, Web3 and the world of NFTs.

Ticket sales end on Aug. 14. Register via Eventbrite:

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Capital Grille steakhouse chain coming to Waikīkī

The Capital Grille, a fine dining restaurant specializing in dry-aged steaks and fresh seafood, announced that it will open its first Hawaii location at Līlia Waikīkī in June 2024.

The chain’s first Hawaii location will be operated by Union MAK, which also franchises IHOP & Applebee’s restaurants.

“This culminates a life-long dream to bring to Hawaii’s shores a most-iconic fine dining restaurant – made even sweeter as it will be on historic Kūhiō Avenue in Waikīkī,” said Vince Espino, Union MAK owner and new franchisee for The Capital Grille.

The Capital Grille is best known for expertly prepared steaks dry-aged in-house for 18 to 24 days, a process that achieves incomparable flavor and tenderness. Steaks are hand-carved daily by the restaurant’s butcher, with selections including Bone-in Kona Crusted Dry-Aged NY Strip; Porcini Rubbed Bone-In Ribeye with 15-Year Aged Balsamic; and Sliced Filet Mignon with Cipollini Onions, Wild Mushrooms and Fig Essence, among others.

The restaurant is also popular for its blend of menu classics and twists on appetizers and sides, artfully prepared using impeccable ingredients. Signature dishes include Pan-Fried Calamari with Hot Cherry Peppers; Lobster Mac ‘N’ Cheese; and Lobster and Crab Cake with Lemon Basil Aioli. Dedicated to culinary excellence throughout its menu, a skilled pastry chef prepares desserts each morning from scratch, such as The Capital Grille Cheesecake, brûlée style, and Coconut Cream Pie.

The Capital Grille pours from a list of more than 350 selections, housed in a floor-to-ceiling, temperature-controlled wine kiosk holding more than 3,000 bottles. Guests can choose from 30 wines rarely offered by the glass, including library vintages and highly sought-after limited bottlings. Through continuous wine training, servers can make personalized recommendations for guests to choose their perfect pairings. Private wine lockers are available by annual lease for the aficionado, offering brass nameplates, specially procured wines and first access to special events and tastings.

Located on the corner of Kūhiō Avenue and Kānekapōlei Street, The Capital Grille will be a signature restaurant tenant at Līlia Waikīkī, a luxury residential destination blending elegance and comfort for a modern living experience.

The Capital Grille is a subsidiary of Darden Restaurants, which also owns Olive Garden, Ruth’s Chris Stake House, Yard House, Longhorn Steakhouse, and Cheddar’s Scratch Kitchen.

“We are very excited to continue building on our successful partnership with Vince by bringing The Capital Grille’s exceptional guest experience to Hawaii—this location is our first in Hawaii and we couldn’t be more pleased to be along Kūhiō Avenue in the heart of Waikīkī,” said Darden Restaurants international senior vice president Brad Smith. “We know that Vince and his team’s experience will help us deliver exceptional experiences to guests of The Capital Grille.”

“Līlia Waikīkī’s dynamic retail offering is an ideal location to introduce The Capital Grille to Hawaii,” said Kris Hui of Brookfield Properties. “We invite our residents and the community to enjoy an iconic fine dining experience that is so popular and unique. We are thrilled The Capital Grille is finally coming to Honolulu.”

Līlia’s retail offerings include a curated collection of restaurants and a two-story, full service grocery store called Waikīkī Market. The new Capital Grille will be carefully designed to create an atmosphere of refined sophistication with exceptional finishes and unique features. The space will offer a variety of private dining spaces for meetings and group events, whether social or business, customized to meet each guest’s needs.

About The Capital Grille

The Capital Grille is a fine-dining restaurant that offers expertly prepared steaks, fresh seafood, a renowned wine list and professional service in an atmosphere of relaxed elegance. Open seven days a week, The Capital Grille is best known for its expertly prepared steaks, which are dry-aged for 18 to 24 days in-house and hand-carved in-restaurant by a butcher. The restaurant’s wine list features more than 350 selections, and its floor-to-ceiling wine kiosk regularly houses 3,000 bottles. The restaurant has been honored by Wine Spectator magazine with an Award of Excellence for the breadth and depth of the list. The Capital Grille also offers personalized, on-site wine lockers, available by annual lease.

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HTDC Executive Director

htdcorg Hawaii Technology Development Corporation
Diversifying Hawaii’s economy by developing a flourishing technology industry.

Duties Summary
The Hawai’i Technology Development Corporation (HTDC) is seeking to hire an Executive Director. HTDC is an agency of the State of Hawai`i and attached to DBEDT for administrative purposes.  As a lead State agency in high technology research, development, demonstration, venture funding, and management of incubation facilities, HTDC identifies, develops, and implements a broad array of technology industry programs and services that are designed to facilitate the growth and development of a commercial high technology industry in Hawai`i.
As the visionary, strategic, and operational leader of HTDC, the Executive Director is responsible for the understanding and leveraging the rights, duties, and resources afforded to HTDC pursuant to Chapter 206M, and is responsible and accountable to its nine-member Board of Directors for envisioning, planning, organizing, coordinating, directing, reviewing, redirecting and reporting upon the work of the corporation.
The Executive Director oversees a multi-million dollar annual budget and a team of 10+ employees to execute on the mission of HTDC, as set forth in Chapter 206M. In doing so, the Executive Director is encouraged to be proactive in identifying, developing, and implementing innovative initiatives and programs to build a high technology industry in Hawaii that fits the Hawaii culture and community, working with companies at all stages, from startups to large institutions.  It is understood that certain initiatives and programs may offer great potential but also the risk of failure, and that, although risks should be reasonably mitigated, they cannot be completely avoided in the pursuit of major impacts in the community.
Under the Executive Director’s leadership, HTDC should embrace and reflect the same entrepreneurial mindset that it encourages others to have, and serve as a leader and role model for the technology and entrepreneurial community as a whole. Accordingly, each year, the Executive Director should identify, develop, and implement new programs and initiatives, and to expand existing programs and initiatives and, when appropriate, seek funding from the State legislature.  The Executive Director should also adjust and eliminate existing programs and initiatives that are not effectual.
Minimum Qualification Requirements
Knowledge: Federal and State rules, regulations, policies, procedures, or other relative guidelines; and supervisory principles and practices.
Skills/Abilities: Has an entrepreneurial mindset and a track record of developing innovative initiatives and programs.  Implements the functions and responsibilities of the HTDC program; reads and comprehends laws, rules, and regulations; analyzes facts and issues; and recommends solutions to complex and sensitive problems/situations. Must have strong oral and written communication, planning, organizational, and business management skills; demonstrated ability in communicating effectively with the general public, legislators, government employees and agencies,  C-level executive members of the business community, members of the tech and entrepreneurial community, and community-based organizations. Demonstrated ability to establish and maintain amicable working relationships with staff, the corporation’s Board of Directors and the general public.
Education: Bachelor’s degree from a four-year accredited college or university in a field related to the purposes of the corporation.  Preference may be given for a graduate degree in one of the following fields: business administration, public administration, economics, accounting, banking and finance, planning, engineering (any fields), or any of the physical or natural sciences.  The Board of Directors will consider a combination of education and experience from which comparable knowledge and skills are acquired, subject to review and acceptance.
1. Demonstrated leadership experience.
2. Demonstrated experience leading and/or working on large technical transformation efforts.3. Experience in “technical scouting” or identifying technical trends that influence investment, strategy, and organizational direction.
4. Experience in developing and administering new programs.
5. Experience leading a small/medium sized organization (10+ employees).
6. Experience securing and managing multi-million dollar annual budgets.
7. Minimum five (5) years of progressively responsible experience in fiscal and personnel management, at least three (3) years of which were in a supervisory capacity.
The Board of Directors determines the substitutions that are allowed.
Citizenship Requirement: The State of Hawai‘i requires that all persons seeking employment with the government of the State shall be citizens, nationals, or permanent resident aliens of the United States, or eligible under federal law for unrestricted employment in the United States.
Other Information
This position is exempt from the civil service and considered temporary in nature. Therefore, if you are appointed to the position, your employment will be considered to be “at will,” which means that you may be discharged from your employment at the prerogative of your department head or designee at any time.
Submit resumes to:
NOTE: The State Recruiting Office will refer you to the Department of Business Economic Development & Tourism, Hawaii Technology Development Corporation regarding this exempt position.

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Hawaii Education & Engagement Manager

National center for ground-based, nighttime optical astronomy.

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NSF’s NOIRLab is the preeminent US national center for ground-based, nighttime optical and infrared astronomy. NOIRLab is a Federally Funded Research and Development Center (FFRDC) which operates as a matrix organization, providing services across a range of programs: Gemini, Rubin, MSO (CTIO and KPNO), and CSDC; with facilities in three geographic locations: Arizona, Chile and Hawai’i. The mission of NOIRLab is to enable breakthrough discoveries in astrophysics by developing and operating state-of-the-art ground-based observatories and providing data products and services for a diverse and inclusive community.
In this position, the successful candidate will serve as NOIRLab’s primary interface with our local host community on Hawai‘i Island, and will work out of the Gemini Hilo Base Facility. Responsibilities will include the management of some staff and interns, as well as oversight and leadership for programs like the annual Journey through the Universe program and participation in other community events. A deep understanding, appreciation, and experience working on local Hawai‘i Island issues and concerns is critical to the success of this position, as well as working closely with the Hawai‘i Island and Indigenous communities. The successful candidate must be sensitive to issues related to astronomy on Maunakea and be adept at listening to community needs, be familiar and have connections with local leadership, and be able to adapt and develop programs to meet these needs.
The Education & Engagement (E&E) Manager–Hawai‘i will work closely with the NOIRLab E&E Manager to implement local E&E programming on site in that aligns with strategic goals, mission and vision for NOIRLab’s Communications Education and Engagement (CEE) Division. This position will actively participate in strategic planning and be a partner in implementing CEE goals and realizing its vision.
Additionally, this position will support broader NOIRLab Education and Engagement initiatives across locations in Arizona and Chile and it is expected that travel will be required.
NOIRLab operates the international Gemini Observatory, Vera C. Rubin Observatory, Kitt Peak National Observatory, the Cerro Tololo Inter-American Observatory), the US-ELT Program and the Community Science and Data Center (CSDC) in the United States and in Chile. NOIRLab is the US national center for ground-based observational nighttime astronomy, and has sites of operations in Hawai‘i, Arizona, and Chile. NOIRLab launched in October 2019, with about 450 full-time staff and an approximately $80M USD annual budget.
Essential Functions:

Provide strategic perspectives and leadership in planning, coordination and execution local and indigenous outreach and educational programming as well as virtual programming in Hawai’i Island area such as the flagship Journey through the Universe
Engage in local community groups, individuals and events to develop and maintain partnerships in the Hawai‘i community, primarily in east Hawai‘i.
Works with E&E manager to ensure that overall program scope and resources are in balance with our institutional mission and priorities.
Evaluate existing and potential new programming for educational effectiveness for local target audiences.Ensures that processes and workflows are established and in line with the NOIRLab and CEE Values — scientific authenticity, transparency, collaboration, inclusion, creativity, horizontal and efficiency.
Work actively to harmonize E&E programming across all sites with mutual goals and objectives and facilitate a smooth flow of information with peers in other CEE and NOIRLab teams.Monitor the progress of ongoing projects, provide feedback and prioritize and re-prioritize urgent and important tasks with staff.Produce reports and presentations for oversight committees and agency requirements
Coaches, mentors, supports, motivates, develops, and evaluates staff.
Through personal example, set the highest standards.
Works on site or in the community in Hawai‘i a substantial part of the time
Be NOIRLab’s representative in key Maunakea outreach working groups and strategic committees.
Lead some public tours of facilities (including summit facilities) ensuring the safety of guests and provide accurate and timely information to visitors to our facilities.

Other Functions:
Other duties as assigned.
Required Education, Experience, Skills, Abilities:

Minimum 4-year degree in education, or STEM-sciences
Deep knowledge, appreciation, sensitivity and experience working on Hawaiian Indigenous issues and ability to develop and implement programs that address identified needs of Indigenous and local host community (Hawaii)
Minimum of 5 years experience in community relations/engagement preferably in astronomy or other scientific field with some staff management experience
Minimum of 5 years experience in staff and project management/coordination

Preferred Education, Experience, Skills, Abilities:

Knowledge and mastery of modern astronomical research, instruments, and basic astronomy concepts
Ability to travel internationally
Ability to work at altitudes of up to 14,000’
Clean driving record
Ability to lift up to 50 pounds

Physical Demands:
The physical demands described here are representative of those that must be met by an employee to successfully perform the essential functions of this job. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.
While performing the duties of this job, the employee is regularly required to sit; use hands to finger, handle, or feel; and talk or hear.The employee is occasionally required to stand; walk; reach with hands and arms and stoop; kneel; crouch; or crawl.
The employee must regularly lift and /or move up to 10 pounds and occasionally lift and/or move up to 50 pounds.
Specific vision abilities required by this job include close vision, depth perception and ability to adjust focus.
Must possess – sufficient mobility, strength, or dexterity in both arms and hands and both legs to a) reach upward, sideways, downward to work with paper files; b) sufficient mobility and dexterity to utilize computer systems, fax machines, copiers, and other office machines.
Must possess – 1) ability to read and understand instructions, drawings, safety guides, and other written materials necessary to perform job; 2) sufficient visual capacity to perform the applicable functions without assistance of visual aids other than eye contacts or eyeglasses; 3) sufficient spoken aural capacity to hear and understand instructions, warning bells, fire alarms, or shouted instructions without assistance of auditory aids other than a hearing aid; and 4) ability to impart information orally so that others understand and can respond appropriately
Mauna Kea: Ability to work at 14,000’ for 8 hour shifts. Longer shifts and working during inclement weather occasionally required. Required to pass High Altitude medical examination (post offer and potentially at specified intervals while employed if medically necessary).
Preference will be given to qualified internal candidates.
Please list 3 professional references in your application (references will only be contacted later in the recruitment process) and attach: a cover letter and a CV or resume, PDF files preferred. Please name any attachments with the following format: Lastname Docname. Application documents that are not uploaded as part of the application may be sent to
The position will remain open until filled. To be considered in the first round of reviews, please submit your application by June 16, 2023.
Veterans, disabled individuals or wounded warriors needing assistance with the employment process should request assistance at
The Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy (AURA) is a consortium of 47 US institutions and 3 international affiliates that operates world-class astronomical observatories for the National Science Foundation and NASA. AURA’s role is to establish, nurture, and promote public observatories and facilities that advance innovative astronomical research. In addition, AURA is deeply committed to public and educational outreach, and to diversity throughout the astronomical and scientific workforce. AURA carries out its role through its astronomical facilities.
AURA offers an excellent benefits package including paid time off, health and welfare benefits, and retirement plan contributions, competitive salary commensurate with experience, and a very attractive work environment. Details on benefits can be found at
As a recipient of U.S. Government funding, AURA is considered a government contractor and is subject to Equal Employment Opportunity and Affirmative Action regulations. As an Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action Employer, AURA does not discriminate based on race, sex, color, age, religion, national origin, sexual orientation, gender identity/gender identity expression, lawful political affiliations, veteran status, disability, and/or any other legally protected status under applicable federal, state, and local equal opportunity laws. The statements below as well as the requests for self-identification are required pursuant to these regulations. We encourage your participation in meeting these federal reporting requirements which are included for protection and to assist us in our recordkeeping and reporting. Your responses are kept strictly confidential.
Equal Opportunity Employer, Protected Veterans, Individuals with Disabilities
The contractor will not discharge or in any other manner discriminate against employees or applicants because they have inquired about, discussed, or disclosed their own pay or the pay of another employee or applicant. However, employees who have access to the compensation information of other employees or applicants as a part of their essential job functions cannot disclose the pay of other employees or applicants to individuals who do not otherwise have access to compensation information, unless the disclosure is (a) in response to a formal complaint or charge, (b) in furtherance of an investigation, proceeding, hearing, or action, including an investigation conducted by the employer, or (c) consistent with the contractor’s legal duty to furnish information. 41 CFR 60-1.35(c)

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Paris Baguette Brings International Bakery Franchise to Hawaii

Paris Baguette, the bakery café concept with 4,000 units worldwide including nearly 150 in the United States, has seen significant growth in the past year. After a remarkable 2022 and strong first quarter in 2023, the franchisor is continuing along an impressive growth trajectory with its most recent signing of its first four locations in Hawaii.

“We are thrilled to announce additional expansion to Hawaii. There’s a tremendous amount of opportunity in the bakery café space,” explained Mark Mele, chief development officer. “No other bakery café franchisors are doing what Paris Baguette is on the same scale. Our ability to stay true to our bakery café roots while embracing aggressive expansion has garnered attention, and that only serves to drive us forward.”

The Hawaii deal will bring the total number of locations within the state to four. The agreement was signed by Robert Kurisu, a Honolulu resident and local real estate professional who is pioneering the additional growth.

“When looking for the right franchise opportunity, Paris Baguette was the ideal fit because of its amazing product line, store design and proven response from communities throughout the United States,” said Kurisu.

Moving forward, the brand continues to eye the 1,000 unit mark within the U.S. by 2030, and as it continues to grow, Mele explained that Paris Baguette seeks passionate franchisees interested in serving people in a welcoming neighborhood establishment.

“We want someone who is going to take the time to put the right staff members in place in their store and ensure everyone understands the most important person is the guest,” he added.

Within the $17 billion bakery segment, Paris Baguette continues to differentiate itself by offering breads, cakes and pastries made fresh daily, unlike many other concepts that primarily offer soups, salads and other pre-made goods.


Paris Baguette is a bakery café franchise with more than 4,000 units across the globe. The brand first started franchising in 2015 in the U.S. and has since established nearly 150 locations in markets across the country, making it one of the premier franchise opportunities in its category. Paris Baguette’s primary mission, executed every day by its expert staff of bakers, cakers and baristas, is to share moments of joy with customers and help customers share moments of joy with their friends and family by providing world-class cakes, pastries, coffees, breads and other French-inspired bakery café fare.

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The Pupu House and Kiki’s Tiki Bar Open in Waikīkī

Located on Lewers Street in the old Moose McGillycuddy’s space, The Pupu House welcomes kama‘aina and malihini with their fun retro tiki bar vibe, and ‘ono grindz by Uncle Bo. Meanwhile, Kiki’s is the newest after-hours party hotspot, open til 3am on Taco Tuesdays, Fridays and Saturdays!

The Pupu House on the street level at 310 Lewers Street and Kiki’s (or ‘Kiki’s, short for Waikiki) Tiki Bar upstairs will both be open beginning Tuesday, May 16.

The Pupu House already soft-opened at the end of April, and has been serving dinner nightly from 5:00pm to 1:00am (last call for food at 12:45am). Now their sister establishment, Kiki’s Tiki Bar, located upstairs on the second level, will be open on Tuesdays, Fridays and Saturdays, 10:00pm to 3:00am. Kiki’s will kick-off their weekly “Taco Tuesdays” tomorrow with DJ Compose and beef or chicken tacos for only $5 each.

And this Saturday, May 20, 10:00pm-3:00am, DJ Collective Promotion Group launches “Sneaky Tiki” at Kiki’s with no cover charge! All three nights will feature top DJs and live bands to make Kiki’s the new hot spot to gather with friends for after-hours fun ‘til 3:00am. Kiki’s large and fun space is also an ideal spot for private parties and special events as a buyout for up to 150 guests with a full bar, multiple monitors, stage and sound system. There is also a private room upstairs for up to 20 guests.

The Pupu House on the first level is a family-friendly restaurant and bar that will transport you back in time to the “Golden Era of Waikiki” with its nostalgic and playful “tiki bar” vibe. It can accommodate about 60 guests on tables and at the bar. They offer a delectable menu of dishes to please every palate, from Uncle Bo’s favorites, which have gained thousands of loyal devotees in Hawaii and around the world, to his own twist on local-style dishes which pay homage to iconic local eateries and utlilize locally-sourced ingredients

In addition, the bar looks like something straight out of the set of “Blue Hawaii” with its thatched roof, bamboo, colorful glass balls, and shell accents, and the team of skilled bartenders offers a full bar including amazing signature cocktails. The Pupu House also features a Late Night Happy Hour/Industry Night from 10:00pm ‘til last call nightly with selected menu items at 50% off and the signature “The Sea Chest” cocktail for $12. A souvenir shop is also open at the entrance selling various logo merchandise like t-shirts and bags.

“We are super excited to have both The Pupu House and Kiki’s finally open,” said Ho Suk Lee, President and Managing Partner. “My partners—Chef Bo Pathammavong and my wife, Hokulani Lee—and I are so grateful because we have been busy since we opened our doors with both locals and visitors.

“We opened without fanfare as we wanted to get settled in first, but tourists passing by just wanted to come in to this fun tiki bar called ‘Pupu’ and loyal local fans of Uncle Bo’s found out we were here and started coming in and spreading the word,” Lee added. “Now we’re opening Kiki’s upstairs on three nights—and we’re available for parties, too.

Lee said he plans to expand the schedule upstairs and also offer breakfast and lunch downstairs at The Pupu House in the near future.


Hearken back to a simpler time when Waikiki was being discovered by travelers from around the world, Duke and his Waikiki Beachboys ruled the waves, and Elvis’ “Blue Hawaii” became everyone’s dream fantasy. Welcome to The Pupu House, featuring food the whole ‘ohana will love by award-winning Chef “Uncle Bo” Pathammavong, of Uncle Bo’s Kapahulu, Uncle Bo’s Hale‘iwa, and Yaya’s Chophouse & Seafood in Kaka‘ako.

Address: 310 Lewers Street, 1st Level, Honolulu, HI 96815

Hours: Dinner Nightly, 5:00pm – 1:00am (last call for food 12:45am); Late Night Happy Hour, 10:00pm – 1:00am (last call for food 12:45am)

Reservations/Takeout: (808) 784-8112

Parking: No parking available.


Social: IG: @the_pupu_house I FB: The Pupu House I #thepupuhouse 



The hottest new late night spot in Waikiki, Kiki’s Tiki Bar opens on Taco Tuesdays, Fridays and Saturdays, 10:00pm – 3:00am, and features top DJs and live bands to dance or chill to while enjoying your favorite beverage and hanging out with friends – and making new ones! Kiki’s is also the perfect party venue for all of life’s celebrations. Contact us at for your next event for up to 150 guests!

Address: 310 Lewers Street, Upstairs, Honolulu, HI 96815

Hours: Tuesday/Friday/Saturday, 10:00pm – 3:00am; Every Tuesday is Taco Tuesday!

Reservations/Private Parties: (808) 784-8112 /

Parking: No parking available.

Social: IG: @kikis_tikibar I FB: I #kikistikibar 

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