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WHOLE OX RESTAURANT CLOSING

.... and I haven't got a chance to go there.... Too late!

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  1. yeah, i noticed some stuff online last night, but i couldn't track down confirmation
    i guess the new chef will just blame it on "that's what's wrong with the hawaii restaurant scene"

    1. i've never been. the reviews of the new owners turned me off, and i regret never having tried them in their heyday. only 30 burgers a day is not 'sustainable' for a restaurant to make $.

      7 Replies
      1. re: indelibledotink

        Makes you wonder why other hamburger joint is successful than the other? (viz. Kua Aina). What's the marketing strategy etc. etc. Sad to see a newly opened place closed down so soon.

        1. re: roro808

          they were using the whole cow from the big island (hence the name whole ox deli)
          the new chef felt that they were using up too much of the meat to make the burger, so he limited the number of burgers per day to make sure he had enough of the rest of the cow to make other dishes

          kua aina i'm pretty sure makes no claim on the sourcing of its meats and likely gets them in bulk from the mainland

          1. re: macsak

            i tried to look that up online, but their main website is in japanese only. there's another website for kua aina in london, but not hawaii.

        2. re: indelibledotink

          I enjoyed the burgers there, I thought they tasted great. Too bad about the closing, I wonder if rents jumped or their lease expired as the whole area is under or slated for development.

          1. re: curiousgeo

            They cited a lack of customers. Mainly from all the road work going on in that area making it difficult to get to. The section in front of their restaurant has been closed partly or wholly for several months. Every time I walk by there I wonder when they will finish the roadwork.

            1. re: curiousgeo

              i was told that the secret to the richness/juicyness is that they added butter to the ground meat (original chef, not sure what the new guy did)

              1. re: curiousgeo

                the last time i was there, i was told that the plan was to move to a new location, and to concentrate on the "deli" aspect and sell meats, cheese, etc and get away from serving meals

            2. The owners were always the same it was the chef that changed. This is too bad. I am sure that the road work had a big part it was just a mess and often the road itself was closed down. And initially it was the plan to move to another location with the development of the area. Too bad.

              http://www.honolulupulse.com/2013/09/...

              7 Replies
              1. re: manomin

                Apparently Cocina (chef from Salt) is taking it over on OCT 1st and isn't letting road work deter his plans.

                Also Bevy just opened next door and is busy...the sidewalks have always been available...

                1. re: russkar

                  so whole ox is just having a change of chef?

                  1. re: indelibledotink

                    NO. A new restaurant called COCINA is taking over the space..

                    1. re: russkar

                      oh, i thought 'cocina' was the NAME of the chef from salt. gotcha.

                      1. re: indelibledotink

                        cocina is spanish for kitchen, cucina in in italian, cozinha in portuguese, and of course - cuisine in french.

                        1. re: KaimukiMan

                          I always liked the idea of naming a venture "Cousin' Cuisine"

                  2. re: russkar

                    article i read says that building is scheduled for demolition in 6 months
                    cocina will be there temporarily, he is trying to expand from taste pop-ups, and will try to build a bigger following
                    chef will still be with salt too

                2. It is a shame. I didn't particularly like the place, but the food was very good. I just didn't like the fact that they decided what was on the menu that day and I had to put up with a limited selection. But I'm the only person I know who didn't like it. Its very sad to see someone put that much effort and caring into making something special and see it come to naught.

                  8 Replies
                  1. re: KaimukiMan

                    Well they still have V Lounge & Prima.

                          1. re: indelibledotink

                            the same group owned vlounge, whole ox, prima, and heeia kea pier deli
                            gooch and bob mcgee are now on their own and whole ox is gone, plus the deli changed hands too
                            so vlounge and prima are still together under the same ownership

                            1. re: macsak

                              the restaurant biz must be hard.

                              has anyone on this board been involved in owning/operationg one??

                              1. re: indelibledotink

                                there is an old saying that 9 out of 10 restaurants fail within the first year. apparently that is an exaggeration, its really more like 6 out of 10.

                                http://www.businessweek.com/stories/2...

                                1. re: KaimukiMan

                                  there's also an old saying that profit margins are in the low single digits
                                  not sure how true that is either