Lahaina Coolers uncorks fun, wine dinner

General Manager Sean Stover is a bartender and chef and he prepare the wine dinners each month. The next one is July 7. The Maui News / CARLA TRACY photo

Tucked away on Dickenson Street away from the hustle and bustle of Front Street, Lahaina Coolers has been a fun hangout for decades for those who are savvy enough to find it.

Just look for the record-holding blue-striped marlin that weighs in at 955 pounds inside as well as the sea of colorful paper lanterns outside.

The casual, open-air restaurant famous for its Evil Jungle pizza and spicy Azteca shrimp with bacon over a bed of linguine in chipotle-wine-butter sauce is less expensive than many of the more upscale counterparts in the historic town.

It’s also a haven for its fun bar scene and late-night cuisine, although it’s open for breakfast, lunch, three happy hours, dinner and to-go meals. For Fourth of July fun, it will be happening.

“We open at 8 a.m., and serve food until midnight and cocktails until closing,” says owner Cruz Oritz, who worked for the Department of Health in Napa Valley, Calif., where she “went from don’t drink the wine to now I’m promoting it.”

Speaking of wine, Lahaina Coolers flows with a popular monthly wine dinner. The next one is coming up on Friday, July 7. Starting at 6:30 p.m., the meal will be served in three courses.

Begin by sipping a Kim Crawford sauvignon blanc and pairing it with grilled scallops over quinoa with mango salsa.

The next course is Meomi chardonnay with feta cheese Mediterranean salad. The entree course of filet mignon with roasted pork belly and goat cheese potato pancakes is paired with 7 Moons red blend with aromas of chocolate-covered cherries and vanilla bean is a nice finish.

Cost is $60 with wines, plus tax and gratuity. For reservations, call 661-7082.