Popular Hawaii restaurant chain pauses expansion plans in Las Vegas due to COVID-19 crisis

Zippy’s Restaurants are located on Oahu, Maui, and Big Island. Many of the branches are open 24 hours a day. (Photo by Alfred Acenas, EBC Hawaii Bureau, Eagle News Service)


By Alfred Acenas
EBC Hawaii Bureau

HONOLULU, HAWAII (Eagle News) – In a company letter released on Thursday, April 30, Zippy’s Restaurants announced that it will pause its plans for expansion in Las Vegas, Nevada. What was supposed to be the family diner’s first branch outside Hawaii was slated to open at the end of 2020.

“The COVID-19 situation has affected our ability to move forward with new store openings as we focus on keeping the existing operations healthy,” said Paul Yokota, president of FCH Enterprises and parent entity of Zippy’s. “We own the parcel where we intend to open our first location, and we’ve identified a number of other sites for future locations as well. We have already made a substantial real estate investment in Las Vegas, so we are definitely coming to the market – just a little bit later than anyone would have liked.”

Zippy’s has yet to announce a new opening date.

The restaurant has previously purchased land at the corner of Badura Avenue and Montessouri Street in Southwest Las Vegas, which was supposed to be its first location, as well as a commissary operation facility to prepare food for future locations throughout Southern Nevada.

“We had building plans and we’re about to complete a construction award to a general contractor when the city-wide shutdowns paused much of the economies of Las Vegas, Hawaii, and the nation,” Yokota said. “So, when we are able to focus on our expansion again, we will move quickly. We thank our many rabid fans in Las Vegas for their patience and understanding as they anxiously await our arrival.”

Zippy’s Restaurants was founded by brothers Francis and Charles Higa in Honolulu in 1966. With currently 24 locations in the Aloha State, Zippy’s has a unique three-in-one concept: a fast, casual takeout service; a casual full-service dining restaurant; and a convenient retail bakery.

(Eagle News Service)