BY RIANNE PEREDO
More restaurant options will soon be available to residents and tourists as various businesses on Guam are planning to open; some are familiar, while others are new to the local industry.
Apple Pacific to open two restaurants
A new Pieology Pizzeria location will be opening soon in Tumon beside IHOP at The Plaza Shopping Center.
The restaurant, which is about 1,000 square feet in size, will have the same menu offerings as the Dededo and Tamuning locations. JWG Construction LLC is in charge of the renovation.
“Tumon is a great spot and our tourists love to eat American style food; we worked on this location for about 18 months and finally made it work,” said Richard W. Hart, owner, principal franchisee and president of Apple Pacific Restaurants Group, which consists of Apple Pacific LLC, Pacific Pancakes LLC, Progressive Pies LLC, Longhorn Pacific LLC and Pacific Pasta LLC, which do business as Olive Garden, Applebee’s Neighborhood Grill & Bar, IHOP Restaurant, Pieology Pizzeria and LongHorn Steakhouse.
The Tumon Pieology is set to open sometime this summer.
Additionally, LongHorn Steakhouse in the former Chili’s location at the Guam Premier Outlets is set to open on April 6. The hiring process is ongoing for about 100 employees. The restaurant’s seating capacity is 154.
Sushi restaurant moves out of Tumon
Rotary Sushi, a conveyor belt sushi restaurant in Tumon, is relocating to the East-West Business Center’s Annex Building in Upper Tumon. The re-opening was tentatively scheduled for March 15.
“It’s more convenient, a better area, parking is sufficient and the restaurant [space] is bigger,” said John Ichihara, manager of Rotary Sushi. The new space is 4,500 square feet.
Only open in the evening, Ichihara also said the restaurant may open for lunch in the future, as well as feature a revamped menu.
New restaurant at the Royal Orchid
A new fusion restaurant will be opening soon on the first floor of the Royal Orchid Guam Hotel across from Tony Roma’s.
Zayden Max, named after owner Derek Choi’s son, is slated to have its soft opening in the last week of March or the first week of April, and will feature cuisine that reflects Choi’s eclectic background. Offerings will include everything from hamburgers and steak sandwiches to fried rice, Korean and Mexican dishes.
“It’s a mix, it’s basically who I am,” Choi said. “I was born in Korea but raised in California, so I grew up loving American food. Also, being in California, I love Mexican food and being Korean, I love Korean cuisine, the barbecue and whatnot. So I just wanted to put all the cuisine that I love together into one restaurant.”
A 15-year veteran of the restaurant industry, Choi has also worked in a variety of other fields, to include real estate and insurance. The restaurant industry, however, holds a special place in his heart.
“The first restaurant that I opened was a sushi restaurant in San Diego when I was 26,” he said. “I just fell in love with the whole business concept of a restaurant.”
Prior to moving to Guam about six months ago, Choi and his family lived in Korea, where he ran an import-export business as well as a California cuisine restaurant.
“We have a 10-month-old baby now, and Korea being so fast-paced, we just wanted to raise our kid somewhere that’s a little slower, less air pollution, a good place to raise a kid,” he said. “We still wanted to be close to Korea, so we thought Guam was the best place to go.”
Choi said he and his family have quickly taken to the island, and he aims to contribute to the community by focusing on hiring local talent, using local ingredients, and implementing discounts for military, police and firefighters.
“Although I’ve only been here for five or six months, I love the island and I love the people,” he said. “I just want to be a small part of the community, serving the best food that I can and trying to make a positive impact.”
Renovations to the space began in January. Rather than hiring a design and construction firm, Choi did the design work and has been renovating the space with the help of friends and acquaintances. Zayden Max is more than 3,000-square-feet and will seat 100 people. Restaurant hours will be from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily.
“I love going to restaurants hungry and eating the foods that I love, so I want to give that back to people,” Choi said. “I just appreciate seeing smiles on people’s faces when they’re eating good food and they can’t get enough. It’s different from working in front of a computer or being enclosed in an office. You’re always meeting new people. On top of it all I have a passion for cooking and a passion for serving people. There’s nothing better.” mbj