BY OYAOL NGIRAIREKL
and MAUREEN N. MARATITA

Journal Staff

The Surangel Supercenter will open Sept. 5 in Airai, with more than 120,000 square feet of retail space and 350 parking spaces.
Photo by Oyaol Ngirairekl

AIRAI, Palau and TAMUNING, Guam — The long-awaited opening of the Surangel Supercenter in Airai is scheduled to take place Sept. 5.

Surangel and Sons Co. invited the people of Palau to the celebration “and to experience the ‘Customer is King!’ services firsthand.” The event included a giveaway of a Toyota Vanguard and more than $75,000 in prizes and promotions, according to a release.

The Supercenter, which has a total of 122,000 square feet, has three elevators and two escalators. The escalators are a first for Palau. It also has 350 parking spaces.

Among the businesses in the Supercenter is a Toyota dealership. The complex also houses Surangel’s Grocery, which will also have a bakery and deli; Mason’s Hardware Do It Center; and Chatime Bubble Tea Shop, according to the press release. It will soon include a food court, an office for Surangel Construction Co. as well as a drive-thru lumberyard. It will also include Surangel’s Wholesale, Surangel’s Department Store, Yrang’s Home Furnishings, Ksau’s Imaging Zone, the RAW Surf & Dive Shop; Surangel’s Worldwide Travel Corp. and Hot Wheels Palau.

“Our success over the past 42 years has been because of you and this new location will further expand our services to you, our loyal customers. We hope this new location with expanded services will provide you with a more enjoyable shopping experience,” Surangel Whipps Sr. said in the release.

Whipps founded Surangel and Sons Co. in Palau in 1980. It started as a community store in his home in Ngerbeched, Koror. The company is now one of the largest providers of goods and services in Palau with more than 600 employees working in retail, wholesale, travel and construction. The company regularly sponsors sports and neighborhood events, as well as giving donations to local schools and churches.

Whipps is the father of President Surangel S. Whipps Jr. and Sen. Mason Whipps.

The as-yet unnamed new pool bar at the RIHGA Royal will extend out to take advantage of the location and the viewfeet of retail space and 350 parking spaces.
Rendering courtesy of the RIHGA Royal Laguna Guam Resort

Meanwhile, the RIHGA Royal Laguna Guam Resort’s investment in its Tamuning property continues.

By the end of the year the hotel should finish expansion of a new pool bar, part of which will extend out over the property, making the most of the location and view. Noboyuki “Kevin” Tsurui, general manager of the RIHGA, said, “It hasn’t been named yet.” The bar is “inspired by bars in Indonesia,”
he said.

The hotel is known for its King’s Bread milk bread, but Tsurui said the hotel will expand with a retail bakery on the property – the Panaderia. He said the Club Lounge will also be renovated by the end of the year.

The hotel is also introducing the Chef’s Table with Chef Yuzuru Okamoto (See “The Dish,” “I’d like [the RIHGA] to be known as a foodie’s hotel,” Tsurui said, describing the plans as a “first step.”

Room renovations will happen next year, as part of what Tsurui previously told the Journal is a “seven figures-plus” refurbishment of the property. The hotel has re-carpeted the ballroom and painted the exterior of the property earlier. (See “In with the new,” in the April 4 issue of the Journal.)

Also, the Guam Brewery’s Taphouse re-opened Aug. 4, though in a 16,000 square foot smaller property in the Blue Lagoon Plaza. Andrew Brunson, head brewer; said, “I opened up with just beer, because it meant I could open up sooner.” The Taphouse has 12 taps and a variety of seltzers. New products are regularly introduced. “I’m going to brew soon a Japanese lager,” Brunson said.

As to food, Brunson said, “I’m working on a kitchen. We’re going to do five things and we’re going to do them well.”

Guam Brewery beverages are sold at Pay-Less supermarkets, restaurants and convenience stores on-island and sell well, Brunson said. “It’s larger volume, but much smaller margins.” The Taphouse retails t-shirts and hats, which are also popular.

Opening hours are from Tuesday to Thursday, from 4 p.m. to 10 p.m., Friday from 4 p.m. to midnight, Saturday from 3 p.m. to midnight and Sunday from 3 p.m. to 9 p.m. mbj