Whole Ox Deli to close Sept. 21 [UPDATED]

Sep. 20, 2013 | 0 Comments

Blaine Tomita, left, and Kanoe Sandefur work the counter at The Whole Ox Deli. (Star-Advertiser File)

Blaine Tomita, left, and Kanoe Sandefur work the counter at The Whole Ox Deli. (Star-Advertiser File)

HONOLULU PULSE STAFF / honolulupulse@staradvertiser.com

Less than two years after opening its doors in Kaka’ako, The Whole Ox Deli will serve its last meal on Saturday, Sept. 21.

From the start, the Whole Ox dazzled hungry customers with burgers made with local, grass-fed beef. Management changes earlier this year brought native New Yorker Justin Yu to Honolulu, who tried to update the menu and said at the time he would be “utilizing every single aspect of Hawaii … to run my kitchen.”

Chef Yu had different thoughts this week and said weeks of construction on Keawe and Auahi streets paired with declining crowds meant the restaurant would have to close following Saturday’s monthly “Honolulu Night Market” street festival. There are no plans to reopen the restaurant, he added.

The Whole Ox will be open for lunch from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. daily through Saturday; a final, late-night dinner service will serve as an official send-off from 9:30 p.m. to 1 a.m. Saturday.

UPDATE: Cocina, a Mexican restaurant run by Chef Quinten Frye, will open Oct. 1 at the current location of The Whole Ox Deli.

Cocina posted news of its opening at the Keawe St. location in Kakaako on its Facebook page; Frye will operate there until landowner Kamehameha Schools redevelops the space in about six months.

Frye, a San Antonio native, worked at the 12th Ave. Grill and later helped Honolulu restaurateur Kevin Hanney open Salt Kitchen & Tasting Bar.

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