BY MAUREEN N. MARATITA
Despite the challenges of supply chains, inflation, and labor — restaurants in Guam continue to open. Some have better luck with locations than others, and experience in the hospitality industry may govern which survive as tourism arrivals seesaw.
Capitol Food Group Inc., which does business as Capitol Kitchen, moved to a new location on Route 10A or Airport Road across from the 76 Circle K gas station on July 22.
Capitol Kitchen started as a food booth at the 12th Annual Festival of Pacific Arts in May 2016. Casey Castro, owner and chef; told the Journal in October 2019, “We started the food truck soon after FestPac…after [that], we were getting requests for catering private events. So we just jumped into catering,” The popularity at corporate events led to a restaurant at Sentry Hospitality Corp.’s Days Inn Guam in Tamuning February 2020.
John W. Scragg, president and CEO of JWS Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Ltd. told the Journal JWS has seen a hike in kitchen equipment business from the hospitality and restaurant industry — whether restaurants are new businesses or taking over properties that were previously restaurants. Some properties had simply shut down due to the pandemic and loss of business. “That’s devastating for the equipment, because it deteriorates rapidly,” Scragg said.
But Capitol Kitchen got lucky.
MITECO Pacific — which owns the 8,000 square-foot clifftop restaurant — kept the property running. Joseph P. Atalig, who oversees purchasing and sales for Capitol Food Group said, “It was a turnkey property and clean.” The former Papa’s location required no construction, he said, but Capitol Kitchen did replace some equipment to meet its needs.
Capitol Kitchen held its first brunch on July 22 and opened for lunch and dinner on July 26. Readers may remember Sentry Hospitality’s fundraising wine dinners at Capitol Kitchen and the restaurant was due to host the fifth Sentry fundraiser on July 30, to benefit the University of Guam Endowment Foundation.
Other restaurants that have opened include Snowberry Dessert shop, which opened it Owned by Steven Hur, the dessert shop specializes in Korean shaved ice and serves the treat in a variety of flavors. The store also serves a selection of ice cream, cakes and other baked goods, according to Journal files (See “Restaurant Roundup,” in the Nov. 26, 2018 issue of the Journal), and has locations at the Agana Shopping Center and in Tumon, across from Pacific Islands Club Guam.
Opening at the Agana Shopping Center is a second Jollibee and Slingstone Coffee & Tea.
In other market sectors, Hair Town opened a third store at Guam Premier Outlets, Island Pharmacy held its grand opening on July 27 in the Camacho Landmark Center in Tamuning and Solection, a ladies shoes and fashion accessories store is opening at Micronesia Mall.
In regional news, Docomo Pacific opened a Tinian store in the FPA Pacific Corp. building in San Jose.
Recent closures include The Subway Restaurant in Tumon at Blue Lagoon Plaza on San Vitores Road and the McDonald’s Restaurant — also in Tumon on San Vitores Road at Japan Plaza.
The Gourmet Guam dessert shop in Tamuning, which announced closure from July 11 “until further notice” due to a supply shortage, has re-opened but is “temporarily limiting available products.”
An ingredient shortage also hit Crown Bakery in Barrigada again. mbj