Pioneer Inn: Lures with fresh catch, dining deals

The historic Pioneer Inn in Lahaina has seen a lot of action in its 114-year history. Besides whalers and missionaries, it has served the likes of Mark Twain, Jack London, Frank Sinatra, Jackie Kennedy, and modern-day rockers such as Mick Fleetwood.

But during its slump years, it became perceived as a “run down romp ‘n’ stomp,” according to owner Becky Lennon, who with husband, Jim Lennon, transformed the inn after it merged with the Best Western franchise in 1997. This year, they are happy to report that it won the 2013 Directors Award, and it’s rated in the top 20 percent of Best Western’s 4,000 properties worldwide.

Its main restaurant, the open-air Pioneer Inn Grill & Bar, is also doing swimmingly well. Formerly called the Old Whalers Grog Shop, it is a casual affair, perfect for breakfast, lunch, dinner and cocktails.

Right now, the Lennons are offering 25 percent off of your meal during dinner from 6 to 9 p.m., and the fish is as fresh as it gets on Maui.

Next Thursday, July 25, you may even want to combine dinner with the free Hawaiian music concert across Front Street at Bailey Home Museum Lawn. Or listen to in-house music twice a week.

“We are open for meal service daily,” says Ed Robinson, food and beverage manager. “We serve breakfast from 7 to 11:30 a.m., then we switch over to our lunch-dinner combo menu until 9 p.m.”

For breakfast, you’ll find mahimahi Benedict, loco moco with Maui Cattle Co. beef; huevos rancheros, biscuits and sausage gravy, and two macadamia-nut pancakes drizzled with butter and coconut syrup.

During lunch and dinner, dive into fresh fish tacos with pico de gallo and sour cream; ceviche with fish of the day, scallops and calamari marinated in lime and cilantro; and signature deep-fried calamari with your choice of sauces such as tartar and spicy Thai chili.

Dinner entrees include shrimp and grits; seafood scampi; and rib-eye or fresh catch Cajun style or with tropical fruit salsa – both served with rice pilaf or mashed potatoes and sauteed vegetable of the day.

“The fish is as fresh as it gets,” says Becky. “We offer good value. It’s not high end. And, the meal servings are very generous.

For more details, call 661-3636 or visit