AS MAUI TURNS . . . Last week as I drove to Lahaina on business, I got teary-eyed over hearing that one of Maui's most esteemed and beloved restaurants will close its doors this month.
Roy's Kihei is targeted to close Aug. 31, after eight and a half years of providing world-class food and service to its guests. Fans should note specials will continue throughout the month. Roy's Kahana is still in good shape and that will remain open.
"Closing a restaurant is always a difficult decision," says acclaimed chef and owner, Roy Yamaguchi. "We are not immune to the current economy and the South Side of Maui has been particularly hard hit. We worked with our landlord to terminate our lease and I am certain they will find another first-class tenant to serve the Kihei community. We send out our heartfelt mahalo to our guests for their loyal patronage. It has been our pleasure to serve you and we hope to see you at our Kahana location."
The Maui News / CARLA TRACY photo
Owner Gregory Brown of the new Wine Corner West offers a cool and convenient place to shop for wines and single beers on Lahainaluna Road.
Meanwhile, General Manager Timothy Caskey says they'll continue the sunset prix-fixe special from 5:30 to 7 nightly for $35. Mondays and Wednesdays, you will get 50 percent off select bottles of wine, Tuesdays and Thursdays half off appetizers at the bar. Other nights offer early bird specials such as misoyaki pork pot roast or fresh catch in Thai curry for $15.99.
UNCORKED IN LAHAINA . . . Wine enthusiasts in West Maui are starting to flock to Lahainaluna Road where the former Mr. Wine used to be. Now, it's Wine Corner West, chock full of hard-to-find boutique selections for the savvy sipper.
The owners are Gregory Brown and Susun White, a husband-and-wife team and oenophiles (wine experts), who also run the successful Wine Corner in Paia, which has been open for 10 years.
"Trav Duro really built up something great here with Mr. Wine and we're trying to get it back to how he originally had it," says Brown, who was chef at the famous former Andre's in Aspen. "We have a nice selection hard-to-find wines and single beers. We'll stock what Foodland and Safeway don't have. Hopefully, you'll find our prices to be competitive with the markets. We're open Monday to Saturday from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m."
BITS AND PIECES . . . There will be plenty of good things to eat at the 50th anniversary of statehood party from 4 to 6 p.m. Saturday at the MACC in Kahului. The event is free and open the public and you may buy 50-cent hot dogs, shave ice, beverages and get tastes of pineapple, too. Kids can jump in the bouncy castle. Later that evening, the band, America, will take the stage and food vendors include 808 Deli, Maui Kettlecorn, Zia Maria's Gelato and WowWee Maui's Kava Bar and Grill. Of course, the MACC is also gearing up for Maui Calls Aug. 14, the premier food and wine event on island.
Speaking of wine, Longhi's Wailea will pull out all of the stops with the Summer Passport Wine Tasting from 7 to 9 p.m. Aug. 15. "There will be four wineries, featuring 16 wines, four paired signature appetizers and a tapas buffet," says General Manager Michael Rose.
Wineries include Duckhorn Vineyards, Handley Cellars, Rombauer Vineyards and Saintsbury. Cost is $50 per person and seating is limited.
Cafe Marc Aurel in Wailuku is now open for breakfast from 8 to 10:30 a.m. Monday to Friday. Sip a cup of coffee and enjoy the chef's two-egg omelettes or a variety of his breakfast sandwiches. Wednesday evening, there will also be a tasting of Oregon pinot noirs.
Jamba Juice stores on Maui are extending their Bogo deals through Sunday. Basically, purchase any smoothie and get one of equal or lesser value for free.
"Jamba Juice wants everyone to have a chance to cool off and save this summer," says publicist Lauren Glassberg.
* You may reach dining editor Carla Tracy at 242-6342.