(Honolulu, Hawaii. May 30, 2019) – When serial entrepreneur and Honolulu resident Frank Clark opened Waikiki Yokocho in 2016, he had little idea that one day he would be accepting an Emmy for a lifestyle program that shone a light on a culture and cuisine he so loved. That day came however in June 2018 when he, as Executive Producer, along with Hawaii film Director Andrew Tran and renowned international television Presenter, Lanai Tabura won the Emmy for their mini-special, Ramen Yokocho, located in Waikiki.
Clark said, “The growing international popularity of yokocho dining meant that we had somewhat unwittingly tapped into a market hungry to learn more.” He added, “I think the relaxed, light-hearted way in which we told that story in just 25 minutes, resonated with audiences. The response was actually quite overwhelming.”
Yokocho, which means ‘alley’ in Japanese, is a colorful gathering of small restaurants and bars, where the atmosphere is a collective assault on the senses. The sights, sounds and smells draw diners in, sitting almost shoulder to shoulder while they enjoy the fresh tasty dishes prepared onsite.
That first program’s success encouraged the team to return to Japan, along with several of the chefs who had embraced Clark’s vision early on for Waikiki Yokocho. The result is two separate 25 minute programs, Tokyo Yokocho and Osaka Yokocho, both of which have now earned individual 2019 Emmy nominations for the team which also includes three-time Emmy Award winning Producer, Beverly Desuasido, and co-writers and former news anchors Yunji Denise and Olena Hue.
“Our Director, Producers and charismatic host have done a really great job capturing the true essence of these yokocho with their vibrant atmosphere and cuisine. I am delighted that more people around the world will get to learn about this unique dining experience.” Clark said.
Clark’s own Waikiki Yokocho is home to 14 authentic Japanese restaurants and is located on the ground floor of the Waikiki Shopping Plaza in the very heart of Waikiki. Guests are able to choose from a delicious, affordable selection of cuisine including Michelin-endorsed Ramen and authentic sushi, tempura, okonomiyaki, yakiniku and more.
The two Emmy-nominated programs, as well as the 2018 winner, are available for viewing on Hawaii’s Spectrum TV CH 1014 ‘Specials’ on demand, select Hawaiian Airlines flights and on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UChOjB4cqaenSqy2FOFUHo4Q, or keyword search:
About Frank Clark
Frank Clark is Founder and CEO of Waikiki Yokocho. Besides success in the restaurant business he also has a proven track record in commercial real estate in Hawaii where he has enjoyed considerable success. He recently founded scoopUSA.com, a unique Japanese language online platform designed specifically to bring together Japanese investors and the commercial real estate owners and brokers of Hawaii and the U.S. mainland.
About Lanai Tabura
Hailing from the tiny island of Lanai, Tabura is an accomplished DJ, comedian, actor and television personality. He is no stranger to international and local television shows including the Food Network’s Great Food Truck Race; co-host with Anthony Bourdain on No Reservations; Baywatch Hawaii and Hawaii 5-O. As a 25 year veteran of radio, Tabura co-created the Island 98.5 station in Hawaii and is regularly on air in Tokyo and Fukuoka, in Japan.
About Andrew Tran
Andrew Tran grew up on Oahu, Hawaii, where he is a successful freelance photographer, cinematographer and a Director/Partner at Honolulu-based Redefined Media. Tran has been shooting POW! WOW! Worldwide and traveling with the crew since 2011.