In 2002, Sarah and Michael Littman got married on Hapa Road in Koloa, Kauai. The couple met in Hawaiʻi and fell in love, and eventually opened their popular Portland ramen cart, Hapa PDX, in 2013. Their ramen wasn’t intended to be something straight out of Sapporo or Hakata; Hapa’s G-Special Ramen — a bowl of thick, chewy noodles and pork belly broth —was something just their own, somewhat inspired by their time growing up in Hawaiʻi. And when the Littmans opened their ramen restaurant and whiskey bar on Southeast Gladstone, it was more clearly a love letter to Hawaiʻi , with a number of poke options on the menu.
But this fall, the Littmans are going back to their roots — literally. The couple has moved back to Hawaiʻi to open their second restaurant in Poipu, Kauai.
Hapa Kauai will open within the Shops at Kukui‘ula, an outdoor shopping center in Kauai. The mall is also home to restaurants like Eating House 1849, owned by James Beard winner Roy Yamaguchi. The restaurant will be triple the size of the Portland location, seating 120, with an ample selection of bourbon, Japanese whisky, Kauai’s own Koloa rum, and Oregon’s SakéOne saké. Like the Oregon location, Hapa Kauai will specialize in ramen, though the menu may shift slightly leaning on produce and meat from the island.
While the Littmans will be based in Hawaiʻi , the Portland location of the restaurant will not close. Abigail Cox, who has been with Hapa on and off since 2014, has been promoted to general manager of the Portland restaurant. After working at the cart, she moved to Osaka to work at a street-side izakaya, moving back to Portland to help the Littmans open the first Hapa restaurant. Not only will she work as Hapa Portland’s general manager; she has also joined the restaurant’s ownership team.
Hapa Kauai should open in the fall of 2022, at 2829 Ala Kalanikaumaka Road in Koloa, Hawaiʻi.