Ryan’s Grill to shut down in Jan­uary

Honolulu Star-Advertiser - - BUSINESS | BUSINESS REPORT - By Kris­ten Con­sil­lio kcon­sil­lio@starad­ver­tiser.com

Ryan’s Grill at Ward Cen­tre is clos­ing af­ter nearly 35 years.

The pop­u­lar eatery and bar that opened in 1983 will close by Jan. 21, em­ploy­ees have told pa­trons.

The restau­rant in­dus­try has been grap­pling with fierce competition and ris­ing costs, as well as a new gen­er­a­tion of “food­ies” look­ing for more in­ti­mate ex­pe­ri­ences, said Honolulu re­tail an­a­lyst Stephany So­fos.

“Ryan’s is mom and dad’s restau­rant. It’s been around 34 years. That’s a whole gen­er­a­tion,” So­fos said. “When we all started go­ing there in the ‘80s it was the hap­pen­ing place. Now the mil­len­ni­als are the ones driv­ing the whole game in re­tail and restau­rants. They’ll go to bou­tique restau­rants.”

Mean­while, the cost of do­ing busi­ness in Hawaii is es­ca­lat­ing, she said.

“The cost to run a large restau­rant is phe­nom­e­nal,” So­fos said. Not only has rent gone up but also the food costs and la­bor. In or­der to make a profit you have to have a smaller place.”

Long­time cus­tomers are feel­ing nos­tal­gic about the im­pend­ing loss.

“For my gen­er­a­tion, Ryan’s was one of the best places for lunch and dinner. The bar was vi­brant and su­per crowded, a sign of its pop­u­lar­ity. You would see ev­ery­one there, from state of­fi­cials to col­leagues,” said for­mer TV news re­porter Tina Shelton.

Af­ter 30 years in news, Shelton’s farewell party was held there in 2007.

Dilbert >> By Scott Adams

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