We are big on sharing the Aloha spirit and giving back to our community. Top Left, Jay and Natalie Cruz and Top Right in blue shirt, Jon Perry were blessed to be able to donate 60 meals to feed the homeless in Pittsburgh through our friends at Saturday Suppers Rich and Barb Webb in conjunction with Kingdom Development Group.
Hapa in Hawaii means half-breed or mixed breed. The owners are Hapa and their kids are Hapa. The name Hapa in Hapa Hawaiian Grill was carefully chosen because it allows our chef and cooks the opportunity to explore exciting and exotic new dishes and specials from the entire Pacific Rim. We hope you enjoy our flavors from Hawaii and the Pacific Rim as much as we love making it for you.
Our co-founder and chef "Jay" Cruz has been involved in the Pacific Cuisine movement practically from the start. Born in Guam, Jay grew up in the Big Island with his family. Jay worked with several local chefs that were innovative in the Hawaii regional cuisine. Jay left Hawaii with his wife Natalie and relocated back to the Pittsburgh area years ago with the dream of opening their own Hawaiian style restaurant in Pennsylvania. Jay is a general manager with Prospera Hospitality operating hotels for the company. Natalie works for Carnegie Mellon University. They have 2 children together, Brendan and Talia.
Jay and Natalie run the operations of Hapa Hawaiian Grill along with their daughter Talia Cruz. Talia was appointed the restaurant manager on day one and has been running the restaurant with her boyfriend Dakota Randolph ever since. When it comes to the daily operations, it really is a family affair.
Co-Founder and real estate developer, Jon Perry has been buying and renovating commercial and residential properties in the Pittsburgh market since 2001. Born and raised in Waimanalo, Oahu, Jon followed his passion of owning a business and left Hawaii at the age of 22 to pursue his dream. While living and working in New York, Jon met his wife Karen from Pennsylvania and they now live in Pittsburgh, PA. Karen works for Pfizer, Inc one of the producers of the vaccine to fight Covid. They have 3 children together, Kawai, Kaleo and Ikaika.
Jon and Karen take care of the marketing, finances and building management. Jon's company Pittsburgh Real Estate Team, Inc bought the building and did the renovations of the restaurant raising investor capital as well as their own capital from both families to get the restaurant opened in February of 2020, just before Covid-19 reared it's ugly head.
Blessed to secure PPP funding recently and a local grant, Hapa has been able to keep it's doors open during this challenging time. We believe in transparency and we don't mind saying that these have been very hard times for the restaurant. Being open and closed at the whims of governor Wolf has made it difficult to stay open. Even at 50% occupancy, the social distancing factor and other Covid related factors, the restaurant can only do 35% seating. We have recently adjusted our days and hours of operations to do our best to stay open and keep providing great food and great service to our local community. Without your support and without the support of our investors, Hapa would not have made it this far. So, keep coming in to see us, say hello, order your favorite dishes and together we can all get through this as One Big Ohana.