Known as Hawaii’s gateway to the world, there’s a reason why Honolulu is the state’s capital. Serving as a major hub for commerce, hospitality, and military defense, this city hosts the best of what this tropical getaway has to offer. This also rings true to the local cuisine, with many considering it as a culinary mecca.
Neighborhoods such as Kakaako and Kaimuki are filled with mom-and-pop shops that offer local comfort grub such as plate specials and the loco moco. For those looking for some more upscale dining, one can find fine dining restaurants in Downtown Honolulu. If Hawaiian food is not your thing, multiple spots such as the city’s Chinatown have eateries showcasing American, Japanese, and Chinese cuisine.
With the food scene in Honolulu becoming increasingly dynamic, local contractors have stepped up to the plate to bring life to the city’s restaurants. Listed below are five of these firms that have been selected by the editorial team as the best of the best. They have been selected based on their impressive list of accolades, services, and past projects.
Constructors Hawaii Inc.
1728 Kahai St., Honolulu, HI 96819
Constructors Hawaii Inc. does not settle with being a jack of all trades — for the firm aims to be a master in all of its services. Included in its arsenal of services are commercial, industrial, and institutional construction. The company even has its own dedicated restaurant contracting service. Not only does the firm have a wide repertoire of skills but it also does all projects with award-winning quality. Some of its builds have been recognized by the GCA Build Hawaii Awards and Kukulu Hale Awards in 2020.
This widespread success is partially thanks to the firm’s family synergy with multiple generations of craftsmen working under the company. President Colin Yoshiyama, founder Albert Yoshiyama’s son, now leads the company with three decades of experience in civil engineering and general contracting. A respected member of the community, it has been accepted into the GCA of Hawaii and has been featured in numerous local magazines for its projects.
Unlimited Construction Services, Inc.
733 Bishop St. Suite #1717, Honolulu, HI 96813
When it comes to a restaurateur’s dream construction, there is no limit to what Unlimited Construction Services (UCS) can achieve. Regardless of what a client may request, the incorporation has a team dedicated to doing that request. This can be seen in the many commercial, residential, industrial, and institutional buildings the firm has built around Hawaii. Since being founded by Peter Robson in 1990, the firm has become an icon in the state’s construction scene. The team ensures that one of the executives is on-site to uphold the quality of every project.
Outside of the typical design-build service, they have an in-house equipment team that provides tools tailor-fit to make stunning dining and cooking spaces. UCS also has a real estate team for those looking to either increase the value of their restaurant building or buy a property for their next chain expansion. The team also prides itself in its eco-friendly efforts, with its recycling job site materials and with nearly 80% of its workers being Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) accredited.
Being a locally-owned business, UCS knows how to make sure that your restaurant stands out from the competition in Honolulu. Aside from its grasp of the area, the quality of its services has been recognized by Building Industry Hawaii who has dubbed them as one of the top 10 contractors in the state. The company is also a member of the GCA of Hawaii and the BIA of Hawaii. The former has even given two awards to UCS.
Kai Ridge Hawaii Construction Company
1888 Kalakaua Ave. C312, Honolulu, HI 96815
Its “build it right, build it once” mantra is the exact reason why Kai Ridge Hawaii Construction Company has snagged so many high-profile clients. Despite just being established in 2012, founder Derrick Pei has been partnering up with both Hawaii’s local government and private companies for their construction needs. Some of his most notable partners include the U.S. Army, the U.S. Navy, and the City of Honolulu. The company also commonly works for chain food establishments such as Panda Express and local tea shop Shaka Shaka. Outside of its partnerships, the firm also extends its services to commercial and residential properties around the state.
Joining in on efforts for greener construction, Kai Ridge has committed itself to improve energy efficiency and reduce the carbon emission of its projects. Aside from just caring for the environment, the company is also known for upholding the safety of its workers. The company has a verifiable incident rate and overall lost-time frequency rate that ranks as one of the lowest in the area’s construction industry.
Allied Builders System
1717 Akahi Street, Honolulu, HI 96819
Allied Builders System is not just a contractor but a teammate. The firm is known for its collaborative approach where its in-house workers, subcontractors, and clients all work closely to bring projects to life. This approach also reflects on the quality of the company’s work with it being recognized as one of the top 20 construction companies in Hawaii. In turn, ABS has become the go-to contractor for many retail businesses around the state. While the company specializes in commercial properties, it also works on light industrial and low-rise residential buildings.
President Gary Oda has helped lead the team to become one of the top 250 businesses in Hawaii. While Gary handles company management, his Vice Presidents Justin Izumi and Jay Iranon oversee the construction side. Justin has been working for the firm for over two decades and now heads its preconstruction and construction services. Jay Iranon has more than 35 years of experience and has been instrumental in bringing to fruition over $1.2 billion in real estate projects. Aside from being well-established entrepreneurs, the three have successfully led ABS to be the contractor it is today.
99-1191 Iwaena Street #D, Aiea, HI 96701
Kingdom Builders does not just build eateries, for it helps in building entire restaurant empires. The firm has over 20 years of experience in creating commercial, residential, and institutional builds that are fit for a king. Regardless of how small a client’s budget or desired scale is, the team is known for successfully improving even the most humble of properties. The firm employs a budget-informed process, to ensure that everything is done on time and in a cost-efficient manner to avoid additional costs.
Since 1998, Kingdom Builders has been working for some of the prolific restaurants with president Kim Cordery at the helm. The iconic John Dominis restaurant, known for being a popular hotspot for celebrities and weddings, has even reached out to the company. A souvenir sales area was added to the venue, which features a stone wall facade, wooden cabinetry, and the restaurant’s golden insignia. A sushi bar complete with a wrap-around aquarium was able to ground the oriental concept with an aesthetic that was distinctly Hawaiian.