Side Orders • March 17, 2016

SEND GOOD THOUGHTS Back in the glory days of Maui restaurants, when Continental and European cuisine reigned supreme, Heinz Gerner was a leader in the restaurant scene here.

The native of Germany was a classically trained chef and an original owner of the Waterfront, Kihei Prime Rib House, the Bounty, Whalers Ribhaus, Iao Needle and a partner in Hapa’s Nightclub (all closed) and three Mexican restaurants that I can remember.

Gerner retired and moved to Las Vegas a number of years ago, and has kept busy writing poetry and publishing books in English and in German.

It’s sad to report that Heinz is terminally ill and could use some good cheer from old friends. In addition, schools may be interested in his children’s Hawaiiana poetry books that are beautifully illustrated by his longtime girlfriend, now bride Dedra Andrade Gerner, who is a fifth-generation Maui girl.

“He’s made such a difference in so many people’s lives and has employed many Mauians over the years,” Dedra says. “Heinz would very much like for you to send your love and good thoughts his way.”

Friends may call (702) 944-9567 or write Heinz Gerner, 3324 Oeste Vista, Las Vegas, NV, 89129.

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THE NEW FRONTIER . . . While Heinz epitomizes the grand old days of Maui, the new wave keeps flooding in and it’s hard to keep up. (At least for us geezers who recall the grand old days.)

Cafe del Vino has been uncorked in the old Porto spot in the Maalaea Harbor Shops, near Oceanside Restaurant (see story on Page 17).

But sometimes the old days mix with the new. Take for instance, Carlos Acosta. Who remembers him from the Steve Amaral days at the Kea Lani? He’s now the corporate director of F&B for Troon that will take over management of Pineapple Grill in Kapalua in May. Look for good things to come from this guy.

“I do all of Latin America and the U.S. I did an opening in Panama, Baja California and Mexico and mostly work in Colorado, California, Nevada and now Hawaii,” Acosta says. “Troon also manages King Kamehameha Golf Club and Kahili Restaurant in Waikapu.”

Martinis & Jazz is happening Mondays inside the Frank Lloyd Wright-designed King Kamehameha and it’s $25 for pupu and live music. Of course, Willie K rocks out dinner shows Thursdays there and Hawaiian music jam sessions at its Sunday brunch. Call 866-5025.

Speaking of Pineapple Grill, its old managing partner, Chris Kaiwi, is now up and running with Taverna, Urban Drinks + Italian Eats. After months of anticipation, it finally opened Monday at the Village Center in Kapalua Resort in the old Vino spot.

“My goal is a welcoming and comfortable, midpriced, neighborhood restaurant, inviting in locals, visitors, families, honeymooners-everybody!” Kaiwi says. “We’re in the heart of Kapalua, so we’ve got beautiful views, indoor and outdoor seating, sensational craft cocktails and incredible Italian cuisine-all in relaxed Maui style.”

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KICK UP YOUR HEELS . . . Happy St. Patrick’s Day, everyone. Just put on some green, practice saying the Celtic cheers word, “Slainte,” and head out and about as there are heaps of happenings.

Of course, Mulligans on the Blue in Wailea will be party central, and you may saddle up to Makawao for Stopwatch festivities. ‘Umalu at the Hyatt Regency Maui Resort & Spa in Kaanapali will be rocking; and you may “Get Lucky in Wailuku,” starting at 4 p.m. Festivities include a beer and wine garden and you may dine at 808 on Main or Aria’s or sip a cuppa at Wailuku Coffee Co.

Last but not least, Whiskey Steakhouse cooking classes will be held Friday and Saturday at Sugar Beach Events in north Kihei. While the event does not have a St. Patrick’s Day theme, learning how to make whiskey-glazed carrots, bourbon-pecan tarts, cheddar-whiskey fondue and filet with mushroom-whiskey sauce taught by Chef Lee Anderson will prime you for next year.

In the meantime, let’s toast to Heinz and give a nod to the good old days.