Sunday, November 7, 2010

Meet The Manager


       Meet Pila Sunderland manager of the soon to be opened in mid December, IL LUPINO TRATTORIA & WINE BAR at The Royal Hawaiian Shopping Center. Born and raised in Hawaii, Sunderland has a vast array of experiences and skills. He is the former General Manager of The Beachhouse at The Westin Moana Surfrider in Waikiki and was part of senior management at Starwood Hotels & Resorts.

1.When did you decide you wanted to get started in this business? I have always loved restaurants. My aunt’s boyfriend, Curtis Gibson used to work in Restaurants and Bars, and used to let me hang out as a small child. I loved the ambient noise and action of a restaurant, and I think that is when I got the bug.

 2.When and where did your career begin? The same uncle had a boat that did a booze cruise out of Kiwalo. He would overpay me to fetch ice and do little chores on the boat. This sounds bad, but I absolutely loved it, and I got to hear awesome live music too.

3. If you didn't become a manager what would you be? I would be the Director of Ninjittsu at a small boutique ninja firm, servicing clients with custom ninja needs. 

4. How would you describe your restaurant / cuisine ? Upscale casual Italian Trattoria with a wine bar and salumeria. All regions of Italy represented on our wine list with a focus on affordability and drinkability.

5. Favorite item/items on your menu ? I am in love with the salumeria. It is perfect for snacking while you socialize and the wine-pairing possibilities are nearly endless.

6. Who / what has shaped your management skills over the years ? Mentors ? I have enjoyed working with teams that see service like a sport. Going through the motions will not do when you want to be the best. You have to train to win. I credit Chuck Furuya with getting me interested in wine, which has had a huge impact on my life in restaurants.

7. What is the one rule or value you try to instill in all of your staff ? Give 150%, Get 150%. Leave it all on the floor.

8. What qualities do you look for when hiring staff for your restaurant ? I want people that want to work harder, do things better, make more money, and give better service than anybody else. I love competitive employees.

9. Worst restaurant disaster ? Power outage on New Year’s Eve at Rustico Ristorante n Telluride Colorado. Packed house, no lights. It turned out to be a great time, but we had about an hour of serious doubt.

10. Least favorite food? I like it all… organs, Brussels sprouts, tongue, you name it.

11. When not eating at your restaurant, where are you eating ? Hopefully my Granny’s house. Everybody always says that their grandmother is the best chef ever… mine actually is (sorry Chef Mavro).

12. Where or what was the best meal you have ever had ? Too hard to answer.

13. Beverage of choice ? Whatever Dave Powers at Town makes for me. 

14. Least favorite drink ? Ouzo. I hate it.

15. Best wine drinking memory ? What was the occasion ? Drinking wine in Jelsa, Croatia with my wife and friends outside of a wine cave owned by this big guy named Grgo. When you finish your bottle he refills it for you for a dollar. Quaffing wine, but perfect setting.

16. Best part of your job? Meeting people that love food and libation.

17. Worst part of your job ? I very rarely get paid to surf.

18. Committed or single ? Married to my best friend.

19. Kids ? How many ? Two canine children, Pancha and Lefty. 

20. Where were you born and raised ? Oahu and Tennessee… long story.

21. What do you do when you have spare time ? What is that?

22. Please share with us any other info that might be of interest to our readers. I put mayonnaise on everything and I don’t apologize for it.


Delicious Italian Cuisine.  Fine Wine & Appetizers.  Excellent Service.  Casual, yet Sophisticated, Ambience.

Andiamo a mangiare!

From the creators of Wolfgang’s Steakhouse by Wolfgang Zwiener comes IL LUPINO TRATTORIA & WINE BAR, their flagship Italian restaurant at the Royal Hawaiian Center in Waikiki.
Translated, Il Lupino means “the little wolf,” in homage to Wolfgang Zwiener. Italian cuisine was his first love while growing up in Europe, and people nicknamed him “Il Lupino” as he traveled throughout Italy as a boy, discovering his passion for Italian food. Il Lupino offers the delectable Italian fare he remembers so well, in a relaxing, yet sophisticated, environment, featuring indoor and alfresco bar and dining, an open kitchen, and some unique surprises.
Il Lupino is sure to be another favorite among kama’aina and visitors, alike. Andiamo a mangiare! (Let’s eat!)
(808) 922-3400
Mailing Address:
Il Lupino Trattoria & Wine Bar
Royal Hawaiian Center, Bldg. B, Level 1
2233 Kalakaua Avenue, Suite 110
Honolulu, HI 96815

No comments:

Post a Comment