Kincha, the Japanese restaurant at the Grand Wailea Resort Hotel & Spa, will close Feb. 28.
Kevin Peterson, the resort's director of food and beverage, said Monday that the restaurant was felled by a combination of factors, ranging from a decline in Japanese tourism to the overall weakness of the visitor industry.
Kincha was known for its kaiseki dinners, elaborate meals of many courses that take about four hours to present. Kaiseki, however, was only a small portion of a large restaurant. Kincha, with 5,500 square feet of floor space, includes a large dining room, three private rooms, a sushi bar, a teppanyaki bar and a regular bar.
The resort is working with a consultant to devise a new concept for reopening the space when times get better, although what will be the cuisine is unsettled. Peterson said it will undoubtedly have a Japanese-Asian component, because of the decor. "It has such a beautiful view," he said.
Kincha has 18 to 20 employees. They were told of the closing last week.
The Grand Wailea has six restaurants, each a complete operation. There is no central kitchen. But employees are free to work around the hotel, and Peterson said some of the servers worked in more than one restaurant. Kincha is open only for dinner.
The resort is reinvesting in some of its other restaurants. The Humuhumunukunukuapuaa is having its many ohia columns replaced and will later get a new sound system and lighting.
When it opened, Kincha was said to be the only kaiseki restaurant outside Japan. "Mr. (Takeshi) Sekiguchi (the developer of the Grand Wailea) wanted it to be unique," said Peterson.
The Diamond Resort at Wailea opened before the Grand Wailea, and initially it offered kaiseki dinners, but General Manager Kiyoko Kimura said that was suspended after about six months.
* Harry Eagar can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.