Gelateria Chilling Out In Kahala

Dirk Koeppenkastrop

Dirk Koeppenkastrop

A gelato wholesaler has opened its first retail location in Kahala Mall, bringing award-winning frozen yogurt and ice cream to the East side.

Il Gelato Hawaii, located in center court at the former Panini Grill, is co-owned by Dirk Koeppenkastrop, who finally turned his vision into a reality.

“My dream has always been to open a gelateria in Hawaii, and we have been searching for the right location,” he said. “Then finally the Kahala Mall opened up!”

Serving not just gelato but also Italian food, sodas, sorbetto shakes, “coppas” (variations of Italian sundaes) and more, Koeppenkastrop offers a full-on Italian-style gelato bar near the mall’s main Waialae entrance.

Koeppenkastrop’s company also has earned a spot (among five artisan chefs) to compete for the USA at the 2014 World Gelato Championships, a biennial culinary competition in Rimini, Italy, in January. “We expect that we will mesmerize the judges with Hawaii’s unique flavors, decorations and the spirit of aloha,” he stated. Final training for the U.S. team is later this month.

Il Gelato Hawaii is open every day from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m., except Sundays, when it closes at 6. The shop’s treats also will be available from 4 to 9 p.m. Nov. 29 at Eat the Street Kakaako, 555 South St. For details, visit