Given this town’s love of chains, the closures are surprising, even though we knew both had issues. Donald talked about his sweltering experience at Red Robin earlier this year.
And before I left for Hawaii, I called Fresno’s Claim Jumper to gauge the possibility of an upcoming closure. Every time I asked if the restaurant was going to stay open, the person on the other end never gave me a “yes” or “no” answer. Instead, he simply repeated “We’re fine.”
Based on that response, I figured it wouldn’t be long before they shut up shop.
Mike Oz and Bethany Clough had the news covered. (And Richard Lucido was kind enough to tip us off on Twitter.)
So, what was I doing while Red Robin and Claim Jumper were plotting their closures? Eating this:
That was the spread at an inaugural event for Hawaii’s new governor, Neil Abercrombie. The folks at the Pahala Plantation House put together a locavore meal with products sourced from the Big Island.
Here’s a closer look at some of the dishes. Let’s start with hearts of palm topped with guacamole:
And a tray of sweet breads from the Punalu’u Bake Shop:
Like I said, I had a better week than Red Robin and Claim Jumper.