BY MEGHAN HICKEY
Guam Reef & Olive Spa Resort in July is opening two new restaurants on its premises.
The restaurants will take the place of Main Restaurant & Lounge and Waon Japanese Restaurant, which both closed June 30.
Main and Woan were managed by Mother Entertainment Guam LLC since 2012 and the company in mid-April told Guam Reef that it was no longer going to manage the restaurants, as the company “would like to venture to another place, another country,” Chito G. de Guzman-Aguilo, food and beverage director of Guam Reef & Olive Spa Resort, told the Journal. De Guzman-Aguilo will be overseeing the operation of both restaurants.
“Of course, this is our property, we have to serve guests … and [these are two] of the local favorite restaurants, so we have to [keep our restaurants] open,” she said.
The price of the assumption of the restaurants is undisclosed, as when Mother Entertainment first assumed the restaurants in 2012, some of Guam Reef’s equipment was transferred at that time. The negotiations are taking into consideration those transfers again, de Guzman-Aguilo said. None-the-less, the resort assumed full management of the two restaurants on July 1, both of which will be receiving makeovers at a price starting at more than $10,000 — with plenty more to come — to reopen with new names, chefs and cuisine.
Both restaurants will be in the charge of Executive Chef Chito Iglopas, who is known locally for being one of the contributing chefs in the launching of Planet Hollywood in Tumon and working with a variety of other hotels, and Assistant Executive Chef Makoto Fujigaya, who is a grand chef in Japan and known for his work at the Le Creole and Claret restaurants on Guam. The two have more than 30 years’ experience in the restaurant and hospitality industry.
“Their expertise is a mix of different kinds of specialties — a combination of the two will bring out a different kind of menu that locals will love,” de Guzman-Aguilo said.
The first restaurant, scheduled to open in the first half of July, will be named Rica & Rico Restaurant, and will serve Asian Pacific cuisine featuring rotating special dishes from nearby islands and countries, de Guzman-Aguilo said.
“Rica & Rico … it’s from a Spanish word — it means delicious, and very delicious. It doesn’t pertain to any person in particular … but to serving delicious food,” she said.
The restaurant’s dishes will range in price from $17 to $28, to include a selected main dish that will be served to the table, as well as an all-you-can-eat buffet of salad, sides, dessert, etc. It will be open for lunch from 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. and dinner from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. daily.
The second restaurant, scheduled to open in the second half of July, will be named Yoshoku-ya Sango Restaurant — a tribute to Guam Reef’s original restaurant in the location prior to 2012, Sango Japanese Restaurant — and will feature Japanese-Italian Western fusion cuisine — one of Fujigaya’s specialties, de Guzman-Aguilo said.
Dishes will range in prices from $13 and up, offered for lunch from 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. and dinner from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. daily.
About 80% of the total of 30 staff for both restaurants will be retained from the original restaurants and will be trained for the new concepts and management, de Guzman-Aguilo said. Although there are many changes in store for the restaurants, the changes will be rolled out slowly, as the resort wants to get the restaurants up and running for guests and locals as soon as possible.
“We would like to take care of [our customers] — that the service is there, the good food is there,” de Guzman-Aguilo said. “Our main focus is the local community. This is for them, because they’re the ones who are here, who will be coming back and forth. We want to make sure that they really get the best in Guam.”
Guam Reef will continue to serve Sky Breakfast at the Top of the Reef from 6:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. daily, as well as 24-hour café service at the Sand Dune Deli and Coffee Shop.
H.I.S. Hotel Holdings Co. Ltd., which owns Guam Reef & Olive Spa Resort, plans to build another tower to add to the current resort, as originally announced on July 7, 2017 at the signing of a 50-year lease continuing the relationship between the Ada family and H.I.S. Hotel, according to Journal files.
“I don’t have any update yet, but for sure there will be one tower coming up … that was a promise,” de Guzman-Aguilo said. mbj