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Many Changes in Maui Restaurant Scene

Posted August 29, 2013, 09:01 AM HST Updated September 3, 2013, 09:40 AM HST
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By Vanessa Wolf

The owners and chef of the former Ma'alaea Waterfront Restaurant. File photo.

The owners and chef of the former Ma’alaea Waterfront Restaurant. From left: Gary Smith, Chef Bob Cambra, Donna “Mom” Smith and Rick Smith. Courtesy photo.

There are reality TV shows focused on the most dangerous and dirtiest jobs in the world. Odds are if they ever decided to feature the “toughest,” it would be largely populated by folks in the restaurant industry.

Just yesterday the Ma’alaea Waterfront Restaurant announced that it is once again closing.

The statement on their Facebook page read, “Aloha everyone and thanks for all of your support. It is with a heavy heart that we must close the restaurant. Thank you again for all of your support.”

The view from the former Ma'alaea Waterfront Restaurant. File photo.

The view from the former Ma’alaea Waterfront Restaurant. File photo.

The famed restaurant was in business for over 20 years when it shut down over lease issues in early 2011. It reopened a few yards away last June.

Known for its large local seafood selection and tableside Caesar salad presentation, it is sure to be missed.

Similarly, fans of chicken wings may have some change in store as Just Wing It in the Pi’ilani Village Shopping Center is currently up for sale.

The ad reads “Established restaurant selling: burgers / wings / tenders / shrimp, and 13 homemade sauces, easy cash business, all new equipment including a hood & grease trap, one month training included, long term lease, terms available. $125K.”

Just Wing It in Kihei's Pi'ilani Center is up for sale. Courtesy photo.

Just Wing It in Kihei’s Pi’ilani Village Shopping Center is up for sale. Courtesy photo.

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Interested parties are encouraged to get in touch.

Similarly, those wanting to take on the restaurant-ownership bull by the horns on the West Side may be interested in purchasing the Blue Lagoon in the Wharf Cinema Center on Front Street in Lahaina.

Currently up for sale with an asking price of $149,000, the “only restaurant with a waterfall pouring down as you sip cocktails or coffee in the tropical setting. Seating for up to 100 with banquet room. Full liquor license with entertainment if you like” could be yours.

The Blue Lagoon is up for sale at the Lahaina Cinema Wharf Center. Courtesy photo.

The Blue Lagoon is up for sale at Lahaina’s Wharf Cinema Center. Courtesy photo.

Sad as these stories are, there is also some good news on the restaurant scene.

Chef Philippe Chin says he will soon be opening his Sugar Cane restaurant in the spot previously occupied by Famous Dave’s on Front Street in Lahaina.

Meanwhile, the Pastula family, owners of the Cafe O’Lei and Makawao Steak House establishments, have purchased the building formerly occupied by Spices on South Kihei Road, according to employees.

The former Spices location has been purchased by the owners of Cafe O'Lei and Makawao Steak House. Courtesy photo.

The former Spices location has been purchased by the owners of Cafe O’Lei and Makawao Steak House. Courtesy photo.

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