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Utah-based Hawaiian restaurant chain planning Olathe restaurant in 2022

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The menu at Mo'Bettahs is inspired by the Hawaiian plate lunch, which usually features a scoop of rice, macaroni salad and some kind of protein — chicken, steak or pork.

While the timeline isn’t quite set in stone, Utah-based chain Mo’Bettahs Hawaiian Style is hoping to open a restaurant in Olathe sometime in early 2022 near 119th Street and Strang Line Road.

The restaurant, founded by Hawaii-born-and-raised brothers Kimo and Kalani Mack in 2008, is also planning a location in Overland Park.

The restaurant’s menu is built around what Kalani Mack says would be found in a Hawaiian backyard “when families get together or friends get together.” 

“It's not so much a peanut butter and jelly sandwiches or anything when friends and family get together — they do it up right,” he said. “There's usually steak or there's usually chicken and that's what we share between each other.” 

It’s inspired by the Hawaiian plate lunch, which usually features a scoop of rice, macaroni salad and some kind of protein — chicken, steak or pork. On Mo’Bettahs’ menu, there are three different types of chicken, one steak option and one pork option. There’s also the option to mix and match when you order, picking different proteins together or switching up portion sizes. Additional items, like shrimp tempura, are also available. 

TIMELINE AND MIDWEST GROWTH 

The plans to open sooner have hit a snag. The Overland Park store was originally expected to open sometime in the fall of 2021, but it hasn’t yet, pushing back the opening date of the Olathe store as well. 

“But there's been a lot of challenges on the supply chain and getting things done,” Kimo Mack said. “Everything right now is a moving target.” 

Still, those two stores are expected to be some of the first of many to open in the Midwest, setting off a regional expansion that taps into a market that values good food and spends a lot dining out, Kimo Mack said. 

When the brothers were scouting out potential properties for local stores, he said he also encountered a lot of restaurant concepts in the Kansas City area that hadn’t worked in Utah, where both brothers live now, but have thrived here. 

“Anywhere we go outside of our heritage market is a risk for us, but we saw the Midwest as being a lower risk area,” Kimo Mack said. “I hear that Midwesterners spend more per capita on eating out than anywhere else in America, and so it seems like restaurants do fairly well there.” 

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