The Cheesecake Factory is one of the busiest restaurants on O‘ahu, so when a kitchen fire forced it to a close, Waikīkī just wasn't the same. The business is usually bustling with hungry customers, who pour out onto the sidewalk as they wait for a table. But for almost a month, there's been very little going on in that giant mustard-colored building.
Until Monday, that is, when the restaurant reopens for business. Located in The Royal Hawaiian Center, The Cheesecake Factory's known for its wide selection of cheesecakes, as well as its pastas, pizzas and sandwiches. It's a chain business, so it can be found all over the nation. This Waikīkī eatery, however, is the only one for Hawai‘i.
Of course, a fire or unexpected cause for closure is bad for any business. It's especially detrimental for a restaurant, like The Cheesecake Factory, which normally closes only one day of the year – traditionally on Thanksgiving. The other 364 days are packed with busy days and even busier nights.
It seems the buzz of a Cheesecake Factory in the islands never did wear off since its opening several years ago. Every time we go, the wait is at least 45-minutes (not including the wait time for our meals). I presume it's because the restaurant doesn't accept reservations. Sometimes I'll brave the crowd just to get my fix of Thai pasta and cookie dough cheesecake; but that's only for special occasions.
If you're cruising around the Waikīkī area, but don't want to wait, then you can always get your order to go. Most tourists I've seen will pick up a slice of cheesecake to scarf down on the beach. Not a bad idea, huh? I just may have to try that next time I'm in Waikīkī.
THE CHEESECAKE FACTORY WAIKIKI / 2301 Kalākaua Ave., Honolulu, HI 96815 (Map) / 808-924-5001 / www.thecheesecakefactory.com
February 24th, 2013