Coconut’s Fish Cafe has given Dallas residents a strong dose of Hawaiian culture. At its first franchise opening held recently at Dallas’s attractive Pavilion on Lovers Lane shopping center, guests witnessed a traditional Hawaiian blessing ceremony and sampled many of the restaurant’s tropical dishes.
The famed home of Hawaiian fish tacos and the wildly popular phenomenon that has become an unquestioned sensation on the mainland hosted a celebration to welcome long-time, loyal fans and new admirers alike. The Dallas opening marks a new milestone for the brand, becoming the first franchise location and a symbol of the ongoing U.S. franchising strategy announced last year.
The grand opening event began with a traditional Hawaiian blessing intended to unite workers and guests in the spirit of aloha. Kimokeo Kapahulehua, renowned Maui-based cultural ambassador, flew in to officiate the blessing. As an integral figure in the preservation and restoration efforts of Hawaiian culture and tradition, he exemplifies the warmth and friendliness of the islands.
“The opening marked a memorable day for our brand. I have no words to describe how grateful we are to open our cafe doors to the Dallas community,” says Michael Phillips, founder and CEO of Coconut’s Fish Cafe, who opened the first location in Kihei, Hawaii on Maui in 2009. “The locals have welcomed us with open arms from the beginning and are the sole reason this event was such a success.
Dallas’ grand opening event is a significant moment for the concept and the start of region-wide growth for the brand. As Coconut’s recently announced its franchising initiative targeting the mainland, the brand is thrilled to have the father-son duo of Tim and Nathan Brasher opening and running the cafe in Dallas. Together, they plan to continue spreading the aloha spirit through opening several additional cafes between Dallas and Austin in the coming years. The next location will also open in the Dallas market in the first quarter of 2015.
In addition to the planned Texas expansion, Coconut’s earned approval in mid-2014 to expand through franchising in California. The brand has now located its mainland headquarters in Reno, Nev. and will award multi- and single-unit opportunities in markets up and down the California coast to qualified restaurant investment groups and individuals in 2015.