Birdie’s opening ties theater and golf with fine food
KALAHEO — Birdie’s, at the Kukuiolono Golf Course, has just two prices for its food items menu.
Open for breakfast, lunch and pupu — seven days a week — breakfast and pupu pricing is $7 while lunch is $8, said Ron Horoshko, owner and operator of the restaurant, which opened Saturday.
Inspired by names and terms from the game of golf, Birdie’s cafe offers diners a selection of items for breakfast, lunch and pupu menus as well as assorted soft drinks.
“We’re open seven days a week with breakfast starting at 6:30 a.m.,” said Chara Gross, one of two managers at the cafe off the final green at Kukuiolono. “We close at 6 p.m. daily.”
Horoshko, a familiar name and figure in the Kaua‘i theatrical scene, said while everything is borrowed from the game of golf, the restaurant is named after Ethan Shell, Horoshko’s friend and neighbor.
Ethan, then a student at Kaua‘i High School, and Horoshko became friends due to the pair’s love of the theater.
Following Ethan’s graduation in 2006, the young man left for New York City to further his education in theater.
Everything ended on Jan. 30, 2010, when Ethan, living with an undiagnosed health condition, died.
Horoshko said while discussing the naming of the restaurant in Ethan’s name, he discovered that “birdie” is a golf term, and remembers one of Ethan’s favorite roles during high school was as Conrad Birdie in “Bye, Bye, Birdie” in the Kaua‘i Performing Arts Center production in 2005.
“How appropriate,” Horoshko said. “This is not just about good food. It’s about the Hawai‘i Children’s Theatre, it’s about theater. Everything ties together.”
Off to one wall, framed by unique art pieces and a tribute to Ethan Shell, Horoshko said is “Ethan’s Wall” where people can remember the great performer and learn about the Ethan Shell Memorial Scholarship established by the HCT.
Horoshko said Birdie’s cafe is situated inside the Walter McBryde Memorial Building at the Kukuiolono Golf Course and after pondering all of the events leading to the opening, said McBryde would be happy because “everything is affordable.”
“He always wanted something, which would offer not only good food, but do it at prices everyone could afford,” Horoshko said. “There are several members of the (Kukuiolono Park) board who told me the same thing. Everyone should be happy because everything here is affordable. They were the ones who made it possible for us to try and make everyone happy.”
Call 639-3979 for more information.