Al SouzaAs one of Hawaii's most respected and admired figures in the business community, Al Souza is an invaluable member of the Tri-Star Restaurant Group. Personable, articulate, well educated and committed to the community, as Vice President of Tri-Star, Al brings years of knowledge and expertise not just in the culinary marketplace, but in the ever-changing economic arena as well.
Hilo born and raised, this local boy attended St. Joseph's Academy through elementary and high school, then continued his education at the University of San Francisco on a basketball scholarship. So strong were his athletic abilities that Al became an All American Hall of Famer at USF for baseball. Upon graduation, Al joined the Navy and served as an officer of Submarine Forces in Hawaii.
But, Al's interests were more concentrated in stocks and bonds than in submarines and upon his discharge from the Navy, he became a stockbroker. Receiving his registration in 1967, Al started with Shearson Lehman Brothers and then joined PaineWebber - where, thirty years later, he enjoys a well-deserved reputation as one of the most successful brokers in Hawaii. It was in the mid 70's though that Al met three gentlemen that would open up the exciting world of cuisine to him. Restaurateurs Jeff Harman, Nick Nickolas and Aaron Placourakis, the dynamic forces behind the successful Harman-Nickolas Restaurant Group, known throughout the mainland for such notable establishments as Nick's Fishmarket in Chicago, Rosemont & Boca Raton were looking to expand to Hawaii. In 1985, with the opening of Nicholas Nickolas, The Restaurant on Oahu, Al joined the organization as a welcome partner. "I love food and since I spend so much time dining out with clients, what could be more exciting than being a part of one of the finest dining establishments in town? After all, it's every businessman's dream to own a restaurant."
With the advent of the millennium and the changing economic climate in Hawaii, Aaron and Al, together with noted Japanese businessman, Jiro Noguchi, came together and made an important business decision. Reaching an amicable separation from Harman-Nickolas Restaurant Group, these three visionaries formed the Tri-Star Restaurant Group to concentrate efforts in Hawaii. The group took over ownership and operations of Nicholas Nickolas and Sarento's Top of the "I," and went on to successfully open a new Nick's Fishmarket Maui at the Kea Lani Resort in Wailea. Most recently, the Group completed a $1 million renovation on its signature Nicholas Nickolas restaurant. The restaurant was re-opened with a whole new look, ambience, menu and name -- Aaron's atop the Ala Moana. "Our goal is not only to continue the high quality of food and superb service but to bring new chefs and new culinary offerings to headline our award winning restaurants," explained Souza. "Tri-Star Restaurant Group will also be of great benefit to Hawaii with its commitment to community support through special promotions, charity events and donations."
Another admirable aspect of Al is his superior talent on the golf course. Al started playing golf in the same year that he became a registered stockbroker in 1967. "Golf has become almost a necessity when doing business and I love the sport as well." Al currently sits on the Board of Directors of the prestigious Waialae Golf Club. He is Chair of the Green Committee and a member of the Executive Committee for the Sony Hawaii Open. As a special tribute to this special man, Al was inducted into the Hawaii Golf Hall of Fame in 1997. His handicap's 2! Al lives on Oahu with his lovely wife Terri and their three sons: Al, III; David & Steven. Son, Al is the General Manager at Aaron's atop Ala Moana. David is following in his father's footsteps and will soon join him at PaineWebber while Steven is an Executive with World Com.