Hilo Bay Cafe started in 2003 by a small group of dedicated food lovers. For 10 years, the 70-seat restaurant flourished against odds in a small central Hilo strip mall location. From the start, it was well loved by locals and visitors alike, serving seasonal and organic food and wines with a fun and comfortable “come as you are” attitude. Living up to the aspirations of its name, Hilo Bay Cafe moved to a bigger, brighter location on the shores of beautiful Hilo Bay in October 2013. Here, familiar faces and new fans mingle. Diners enjoy contemporary, locally inspired dishes, artisan sushi, and they still love the wine, but the craft beer and cocktails now fly out the door into the hands of happy customers sitting on the lanai.

KIM | Owner and General Manager

So much good has come out of being the owner and general manager of Hilo Bay Cafe. Every day that the restaurant is open, Hilo Bay Cafe feeds its favorite regulars, special occasion guests, and many visitors to the Big Island – and they leave smiling! “We don’t cut corners – anytime, anywhere,” says Kim. “I need to sleep at night. We succeed because we have great customers and a great staff.” An amazing staff, really! One crew member put it best, “HBC has heart.”

JOSHUA | Executive Chef

After a handful of years away, one of the original HBC visionaries and all-around creative chef, Joshua Ketner, leads our kitchen onward. Approachable, hands-on, and always one to maintain high standards, Josh brings tremendous good to our proverbial table. He believes in sourcing locally and nurturing positive relationships with our farmers, fishermen, and distributors.

KARLEE | Sous Chef

While Karlee crafts delicious savory dishes and sweet treats, she shares so much more with us, too. She has a positive attitude, gives constructive criticism when needed, and is always willing to help. She’s kind of our in-house therapist, listening to everyone and giving out solid, caring advice. Karlee brightens our kitchen with her warm and mindful presence.

ROY | Master Sushi Chef

Roy! He’s a Hilo Town favorite and has been for many years. Chef Roy Kaneko learned his craft from a female master Japanese chef at a time when she had to be disguised as a man in order to be accepted in her profession. Thankfully, times have changed! If you are new to sushi and don’t especially like the idea of raw fish, Chef Roy recommends one our sushi options made with veggies or cooked ingredients.

TIFF | Sushi Bar Manager

With a can-do attitude and thoughtful spirit, Tiff approaches tasks with care and consideration. Guiding our sushi bar crew, she enriches creativity and strengthens communication while ensuring consistent quality. As another longtime part of HBC, Tiff ‘s mindfulness and warmth uplifts us all.

TANTRA | Dining Room Manager

With nine years at HBC under her skilled belt, Tantra Bates has long been an asset to our crew. Tantra is a veteran of the industry, as evidenced by her wealth of wisdom and capability. She brings her highly efficient, polished, and reasonable manner to leading our front of house staff. Looking for what needs to be done, or what can be improved, she jumps in to support with a smile – and a quick wit! How was your dining experience at HBC?
Tantra wants to know: tantra@hilobaycafe.com