Honolulu French eatery Le Guignol closing
Chef Ala planning to spend more time with family
Since 1998, he has done just about everything at Le Guignol. For the last eight years, Travis Sutton, known here simply as "Chef Ala," has owned this quaint and cozy French eatery across Thomas Square.
"I'm not going to lie, small business running in Hawaii is hard, you know, with the economy and everything," said Sutton.
Sutton says balancing work and family is even harder.
"I think it's time for a change and time to be with my family more for a little while," said Sutton.
Not like he hasn't been surrounded by family at the restaurant. For years, his late mother served as hostess. His father is usually in the kitchen and he used to work with his brother, the bistro's previous owner.
"My mom is my first love, with my dad and then my wife is my second love, my kids and then cooking's my third love," said Sutton.
It's a combination that been serving up success.
"Family, home feel and the quality of the background of the chef and that you can bring your own wine," said Le Guignol regular Geoffrey Michaelson.
"We have dinner before the concerts at the Blaisdell Concert Hall and other special times we've brought a lot of guests here," said Le Guignol regular Kathie Wells. "It's a really special place to us. We're really going to miss it."
As far as Sutton's future, he says he has things in the works, but nothing concrete other than the fact that it will involve cooking.
"I've been pretty much non-stop pretty much for half my life, so I can't take too long of a vacation" said Sutton.
The restaurant is no longer taking any reservations or walk-ins.
April 30 is Le Guignol's final night in business.
You can still enjoy Chef Ala's food by emailing him at email@example.com. He is staying in the catering business and is even willing to cook at your home.
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