SF restaurant owner missing in HawaiiUpdate: The family has called off the search.
John King, Chronicle Staff Writer
(04-13) 21:22 PDT San Francisco -- The owner of a popular Noe Valley restaurant is missing in Hawaii, where he entered the ocean on a spear-fishing expedition and never returned.
Paolo Dominici of San Francisco was reported missing on Saturday in the waters off a condominium cluster in Kailua-Kona, where he was vacationing with his wife and daughter.
Dominici and a friend went into the calm waters together but became separated. Search teams have since recovered the mask, snorkel and a portion of Dominici's swim gear, but there has been no sighting of Dominici himself.
"We terminated the search today pending any new leads or developments," Reuben Chun, a battalion chief for the fire department on the big island, said Monday evening. "We don't have a comprehensive picture of what might have happened to him."
The Sunset District resident is the owner of Bacco Ristorante on Diamond Street in Noe Valley, a neighborhood fixture since it opened in 1993. Bacco made the Chronicle's list of Top 100 Restaurants in 2004; last year, on KQED's "Check, Please!," Dominici spoke proudly of making all Bacco's pasta and bread in-house.
The trip to Hawaii has been an annual ritual for Dominici and his family: "He loves the sea, the ocean, spear fishing," said Luca Zanet, a waiter at the restaurant since 1995. Zanet described his longtime employer and friend as "soft-mannered, a very nice person ... Everybody likes him."
[SFGate: SF restaurant owner missing in Hawaii]
[SFGate: Noe Valley grieves for missing restaurateur]