The new Nordstrom’s gala preview

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The Ewa wing at Ala Moana Center welcomes another luxe retail giant. Nordstrom’s new location opens to the public this Friday, but its gala on Tuesday night brought in 1,200 guests for a VIP preview, with proceeds going to Aloha United Way, Boys & Girls Club of HawaDSC01766ii and Big Brothers Big Sisters Hawaii.

The new 186,000-square-foot store is 25,000 square feet smaller, but thanks to a fresh design looks larger and more spacious. There are two new departments, a trend accessories section and a local section, with more lines and items from local designers throughout the store.

DSC01744The E-Bar coffee stand and gelato bar have moved inside as well, and on the second floor is the new Habitat Lounge and Bar, a hip, airy hangout with handcrafted cocktails. Ruscello, the chain’s signature restaurant, will replace the Nordstrom Market Cafe, offering table service instead of a cafeteria-style setup. Heading the kitchen will be Shane “Ala” Sutton, who promises a new menu that keeps favorites like the tomato bisque. Stay tuned for an upcoming blog on the offerings.

There was lots to drink and eat with specialty cocktails, gourmet bites and desserts prepared by Chris Kajioka of Senia Restaurant, Andrew Le of The Pig & the Lady and Michelle Karr-Ueoka and Wade Ueoka of MW Restaurant. Take a look at some of the highlights.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Photos by Melissa Chang and Amanda Stevens