County awards concession bid for Wailua Golf Course

LIHUE — The search for a concessionaire at the Wailua Golf Course is down to one.

On May 9, the county Department of Parks and Recreation issued a notice of award to R. Ogata, LLC, said deputy director Ian Costa.

A contract was sent to Ritchie Ogata, who owns The Bamboo Bar & Grill in Anchor Cove shopping center in Nawiliwili, for the golf course concessionaire last week, said Mary Daubert, county spokeswoman.

Ogata owns and operates The Bamboo Bar & Grill in Anchor Cove shopping center in Nawiliwili.

“The county is looking for a successful restaurant operation that provides an emphasis on its snack bar, serving reasonably priced, simple breakfast and lunch items before, during and after golf play,” Costa said. “In addition, a comfortable bar/lounge with reasonably priced items for golfers to socialize after golf play.”

The bid, which comes with an $800 monthly rent, was awarded after a short search for a new operator. The invitation for bid was posted on March 29, and the bid deadline was May 1, Costa said.

“We are also hoping to have a concessionaire who takes advantage of opportunities to cater and host special events along with private and public gatherings, which has always been available to past concessionaires,” he said.

About 10 to 12 different concessionaires have operated the restaurant since the golf course opened in the 1970s, Costa said.

The most recent vendor, Over Par Bar and Grill, shut its doors in December, citing low sales.

“Golf play may have experienced a small reduction due to the absence of a restaurant concessionaire. The restaurant concession does provide a valuable amenity for the WGC,” Costa said. “However, the WGC has been able to sustain golf patrons throughout the years even when the restaurant concession was not in operation.”

The golf course averages about 70,000 golf rounds a year, Costa said.

In an effort to help vendors make a profit, specifically Over Par Bar and Grill, the Kauai County Council introduced a bill last year that would allow it to sell alcohol on the course, via roving concessions.

Currently, alcohol can only be sold and consumed in the restaurant.

The measure was passed 6 to 1 in December, but Mayor Bernard P. Carvalho, Jr. vetoed the bill.

The council voted to sustain his veto in January.

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