Eric von Platen Luder -President
Taking over the day-today operations of the family’s flagship, fine dining restaurant Huggo’s – just next door – from his parents Shirley and Hugo von Platen Luder in 1982, Eric opened the casual, toes-in-the-sand On the Rocks (then Huggo’s on the Rocks) in 1998. He is president of Olu Kai, Ltd., which does business as Huggo’s Restaurant, Huggo’s on the Rocks , Paradise Gourmet Catering & Grass Shack Party Rentals.
Eric is a graduate of the local Hawaii Preparatory Academy in Waimea and earned a Bachelor of Business Administration Degree in 1979 from Southern Methodist University. A fourth-generation Chinese-Hawaiian, Eric has worked in every capacity at Huggo’s. He began as an aspiring 11-year-old bus boy, joining his brother and sister who also pitched in during summer vacations.
Nakies is a native of the Mediterranean island of Cyprus.Nakies, his wife and young son moved to the Big Island of Hawaii in 2009. He enthusiastically applied extensive experience and talent culled from both the hospitality and theatre industries as Dining Room Manager at Huggo’s, assuming his current position as General Manager in July 2015.
He brings with him a diverse background of over 30 years in the hospitality and professional theatre industries. After working as an executive team member of numerous Broadway and Off-Broadway productions, he honed his restaurant management skills at Bateaux New York, the premier fine-dining vessel cruising nightly along the Hudson River in NYC.
His passions include swimming in the clear, blue waters of the Pacific Ocean, running along Ali’i Drive, practicing yoga and meditation, cooking, and reading. As fulfilling as these are, what brings Nakies the biggest joy is relaxing in paradise with his beautiful, loving family.
Nick hails from Erie, Pennsylvania and has been a lifer in the hospitality industry. He started his career at Jr’s On The Bay in Erie, then bounced around the Great Lakes region with the popular steakhouse concept, Texas Roadhouse.
Nick moved to Hawaii in 2006 and managed the popular Waikiki restaurants Tikis Grill and Bar and The Cheesecake Factory. Nick moved to the Big Island in 2010 and fell in love! He enjoys time with his wife Venus and his kids in his off time and finds the waters of the big island as a necessary balance to a stressful week.
After successfully opening Lava Lava Beach Club, Nick now oversees the operations of not only Lava Lava Beach Club but also Huggo’s, On The Rocks, Paradise Gourmet Catering and Grass Shack Parties.
Originally from the San Francisco Bay area, Chef Ken brings nearly twenty years of experience to Lava Lava Beach Club. Born and raised in wine country, Chef Ken worked in Napa Valley for most of his career. He also took five years and explored the cuisine of the Caribbean, gathering new ideas of parallel tropical latitude culinary inspirations.
Chef Ken works directly with the sous chefs to create our menu items as well as work with our vendors to ensure our family of restaurants get the best possible products from local farmers and fishermen.