By Vanessa Wolf
The rumors are true: the Café O’Lei located next to the Iao Theater at 62 North Market Street in Wailuku will be permanently closing its doors on October 15th. According to manager Evlynn Kaupe, the current employees will be redistributed to other Café O’Lei locations.
The company made a business decision not to renew the lease, but the company’s general manager, Napa Recopuerto, wanted to extend a big thank you to Wailuku Town for all of the support over the years. The Market Street location is one of four Café O’Leis on Maui, the others being in Kihei, Napili, and at the Dunes golf course in Kahului.
Meanwhile, the company recently took over and opened the Makawao Steakhouse Restaurant. The Upcountry steakhouse, located at 3612 Baldwin Avenue in Makawao, was founded in 1976 and changed hands several times before landing back with the Eneim family in 1997. They ran it until this summer, when it was sold to Dana and Mike Pastula of Café O’Lei renown.
This is a new venture for the Pastulas as the menu is not the same as the one offered at Café O’Lei. As Ms. Kaupe explained, “The steakhouse is still fairly new. We changed the menu from the original, but still kept it very much a steakhouse. We also run a daily fish special every night.”
Things are off to a good start. Kaupe reported “Third Friday was an absolute success with lots of Upcountry folks coming in to dine with us.” Recopuerto echoed the same sentiment saying, “It’s been great so far. The public and community have been awesome and showing amazing support.” He also mentioned that the salad bar is still being offered, and they now have their liquor license.
You can still enjoy lunch at the Wailuku Café O’Lei from Monday to Friday from 10:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. until October 15th or dine at one of their other locations after that date.
The Makawao Steakhouse is open for dinner Tuesday through Sunday starting at 5 p.m. The last seating is at 9 p.m. and the restaurant is closed on Mondays. Beginning this Saturday, September 8th, Randal Rospond will be playing live music from 5:30-8:30 p.m. on Saturday nights in the lounge next to the fireplace.
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