Iron Chef Masaharu Morimoto will officially close the doors on his Morimoto Waikiki restaurant in the Modern Honolulu hotel near Waikiki Dec. 8.



The Honolulu restaurant has been one of Oahu's most popular over its six-year run and even hosted President Obama and his wife Michelle on occasion.

"I'm proud of what the team has achieved and wish the Modern Honolulu all the best on the next endeavor," Morimoto said in a statement. "It was a difficult decision to part ways, and I know their guests are in great hands with the team here."

Plans are underway for a new restaurant concept at the Morimoto space, but hotel officials aren't yet releasing specifics. Kelly Hoen, general manager at the Modern Honolulu, did say, however, that "that all of the current employees will be a part of the new restaurant."

Meanwhile, two new Morimoto restaurants are part of the $115 million renovation underway at the former Pacific Beach Hotel, which will be renamed then Alohilani Resort at Waikiki Beach, where work is scheduled to wrap up in the fall of 2017.
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