Local Plate Lunch At Heeia Pier

Alana Folen
Wednesday - June 08, 2011
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“Buy from the backyard first,” is what Russ Inouye, president of Heeia Pier General Store & Deli, is trying to promote through the new business endeavor he took on in April, offering local cuisine such as teri beef, guava chicken and hamburger steak.

“Just like the Hawaiians did in their ahupuaa, we get our fresh fish from the local fisherman, kalo for our Kalo Mac Salad is from Waiahole, our luau leaf is from Kahaluu and our burger buns are from Kaneohe Bakery,” says Inouye, who also oversees his own entertainment business, VJ Entertainment, and previously headed up V-Lounge.

“We soon will be getting some treats from Pae Pae O Heeia Fish Pond,” he adds. “We know we have to be price competitive with our surroundings, and we are trying our best to keep it local.”

Located at the end of the Heeia Kea Pier Small Boat Harbor in Kaneohe (46-499 Kamehameha Hwy.), Heeia Pier General Store & Deli offers local plate lunches cooked up by chef and business partner Mark Noguchi. You’ll also find all your other local favorites such as burgers, fries, saimin and a sampling of breakfast items including meats, local eggs and rice. Prices range from $5 to $12.

“Mark also serves up different salads, like tofu water-cress tomato salad. If fresh fish comes in, then we also offer Oio Fishcake Loco Moco, Ahi BLT, fried weke,” Inouye says. “Each day we try to do a ‘special,’ and some of the sellout favorites have been luau stew, pork adobo, braised pork katsu and beef stew.”

Inouye’s mission for the waterfront eatery goes way beyond satisfying people’s appetites.

“I think we are just really trying to make this place community owned and loved once again. By that I mean focusing on food and eventually ocean education, and having families take pride and ownership for their pier,” he explains, noting that VJ Entertainment’s biggest and most recent annual event is the Hawaii Ocean Expo.

“I now know what I am passionate about: the ocean and my community. It’s what I love and where I grew up, and where my kids will grow up.”

In the near future, Inouye hopes to offer shave ice, and also is on the lookout for a catering facility to accommodate big parties.

“With Heeia Pier I’m closer to home,” Inouye explains. “I am even better situated now with the ocean to really tie the Hawaii Ocean Expo together with the pier on a daily basis. And I can be a part of making yummy food with extra aloha for my home-town and community that I am proud to say I am a part of.”

Heeia Pier General Store & Deli is open Tuesday through Sunday, from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. Go to heeiapier.com or look for it on Facebook and Twitter.

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