By HUNTER BISHOP
Tribune-Herald staff writer
Zippy’s will be opening its newest restaurant — its first on Hawaii Island — in the food court at Prince Kuhio Plaza on Aug. 1.
The 140-seat restaurant in the mall will be the popular chain’s 25th in the state, said Jeanine Mamiya-Kalahiki, marketing manager for Zippy’s in Honolulu. The restaurant will also have a fast-food counter with seating in the food court, and a Napoleon’s Bakery, she said.
Hiring continues for more than 100 positions at the Hilo restaurant, Mamiya-Kalahiki said.
FCH Enterprises, Zippy’s parent company based on Oahu, employs about 2,500 people at 24 restaurant locations in Hawaii. Zippy’s has 23 restaurants on Oahu and one in Kahului, Maui. The chain shuttered one of its restaurants inside a Sears retail store at Ala Moana Center in April after Sears announced it was closing.
The Hilo location will give a nod to Zippy’s 24-hour operations offered at other locations. The fast food counter in Hilo will be open initially from 5:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. seven days a week, while the restaurant and bakery will open 5:30 a.m. to midnight. But beginning Aug. 30, the restaurant and bakery will be open 24 hours on Friday and Saturday, and 5:30 a.m. to midnight Sunday through Thursday.
The 7,000-square-foot Zippy’s will be Prince Kuhio Plaza’s largest food service tenant, said Kimberly Shimabuku, PKP general manager. Two existing restaurants and three vacant spaces were combined in the Plaza’s Food Court to accommodate the new restaurant’s needs for space. Chen’s Chinese Kitchen relocated to the former McDonald’s location in the Plaza to make room for Zippy’s. Arby’s also moved to make room for Zippy’s but did not relocate inside the mall, Shimabuku said.
Shimabuku said the mall is looking forward to having Zippy’s as a tenant. “Of course,” she said. “I think everybody on the island is looking forward to Zippy’s.”
Zippy’s currently has no plans to open a restaurant in West Hawaii, Mamiya-Kalahiki said. The restaurant chain was founded in 1966.
Email Hunter Bishop at email@example.com.