Duke’s Waikīkī at the Outrigger Waikiki Beach Resort recently completed significant renovations to its dining room, led by architect Charles H. Palumbo. The project aimed to update both the buffet’s equipment and aesthetic, achieving a “modern yet casual Hawai‘i beach house feel.”
“The original buffet area needed a refresh with new equipment and look to complement the proposed upgrades to the buffet line,” Palumbo said in a release. “I am very happy with the execution of the installation.”
The renovation put a premium on material quality and craftsmanship. The dining room’s original Hawaiian koa wood walls were stripped, sanded and refinished in order to preserve their rich luster. To match, new sculptural elements were crafted from African mahogany, while updated buffet fronts were engineered using custom-cut mango and African mahogany wood veneers, constructed with computerized numerical control equipment for precision cuts. Countertops were constructed from a quartz-like material to balance wood accents.
In terms of equipment, the new buffet line incorporates specialized counter areas to showcase specialty items, with a new frost-top counter for cold dishes and warm top service for hot entrées. Mid City Restaurant Supply provided the state-of-the-art equipment, developed in collaboration with Duke’s Executive Chef Matt Young and General Manager Drew Crocker.
The renovation also includes functional upgrades, with the ceiling area opened up to allow more natural light in the dining room. Duke’s also added color-balanced lighting and new air conditioning units for enhanced comfort, and existing recessed soffits facing the ocean have been refurbished with a lauhala-like woven mat made from environmentally friendly materials. New fans were also installed to augment air circulation.
Also upgraded is Duke’s 10-person “family dining” table, which now features an African mahogany trellis, oversized dining table and custom-designed seating to provide a space conducive for large parties. Existing stone flooring was refinished and accented with wood-like tiles, further unifying the design elements.
Kitsap Construction LLC and its team of subcontractors were responsible for executing Palumbo’s design concepts. The renovation aims to provide an elevated dining experience while retaining the buffet’s casual Waikīkī Beach feel, balancing cutting-edge equipment with traditional woodworking elements.
Subcontractors on the project included Kieselbach Woodworks, Corey Odell Refinishing, AMK Construction LLC, Daltile, Ace Tile Inc., Flooring 323 Inc., Hawaiian Isle Electric LLC, Shoreline Plumbing and Quality Air Conditioning and Service LLC.