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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Friday, March 31, 2006

Raymond Schneider, steakhouse founder

 •  Obituaries

By Karen Blakeman
Advertiser Staff Writer

Steakhouse basics met Hawaiiana when Raymond Valentine "Buzz" Schneider came to town, and his Lanikai restaurant, Buzz's Original Steak House, remains an O'ahu landmark.

Schneider, born in Elmhurst, Ill., died Monday at Castle Medical Center. He was 78.

"Buzz Schneider was a man's man, a lady's man and a renaissance man," said Harry Meyer, friend and former owner of the Hawaiiana Hotel. "He loved art and collected Hawaiiana 30 years before it became fashionable."

Schneider came to Honolulu in 1950 after a stint in the Navy, his family said. Around 1960, he opened Buzz's Steak and Lobster on Beachwalk Avenue in Waikiki.

The restaurant featured an innovative concept for the time: a salad bar. Guests were served steaks, removed from the grill and carried to the table on wooden platters after they finished their salads, said Schneider's daughter, Pi'ilani.

"He'd serve it right on the same plates," she said. "Rubbing the steak in with the salad dressing — mmm, that was his favorite.

"He loved to eat."

Schneider opened Buzz's Original Steak House in Lanikai in 1962. As time went by, people began to expect separate plates for salads and main dishes, and Buzz's complied.

"Buzz was a trendsetter," Meyer said. "His trademark restaurant menu and décor have been copied world over."

Schneider is survived by his five children, daughters Mani, Pi'ilani, Jiffy and Kaleo, and son Christian; a sister, Honey Hildebrecht; and six grandchildren.

A memorial service will be held at 9:30 a.m. April 9 at the Kailua Beach boat ramp.

The family suggests that in lieu of flowers, donations be made to Castle Medical Center in gratitude for the care and compassion provided by its doctors and staff.

Reach Karen Blakeman at kblakeman@honoluluadvertiser.com.