Just as Cafe Marc Aurel prepares to close Saturday night, another Wailuku staple has reopened. Maui Bake Shop on Vineyard Street in the island's historic capitol is back on track bigger and better than ever before with expanded hours.
"We open today at 6 a.m. and have new hours all the way until 6 p.m. daily, except for Sundays," says Pastry Chef Jose Krall. He and his wife, Claire Fujii-Krall, own the 100-year-old building in which Maui Bake Shop is housed.
"We used to close at 2:30 p.m. So now people can stop by on their way home and have a bite or order takeout."
The Maui News / CARLA TRACY photo
French-born pastry-chef and owner Jose Krall takes a crab-shaped bread out of the 1940s Marshall oven, which he recently dolled up with faux bricks. He and his wife, Claire Fujii-Krall, vastly expanded the dining room.
My guess is you'll want to stick around now as the couple has bumped back their pastry and deli counter into the massive kitchen and added a large dining room with cushy carpets, super high ceilings, archways, and enclaves along with vibrant wall colors and fun artwork.
"This used to be the old Yokouchi family building," says Claire. "Four brothers all worked here and Pundy Yokouchi was the cake decorator. This Marshall oven has been here as long as they've been here. It's so big, they used to be able to put a whole kalua pig inside to roast."
Born in the small village of Nimes, France, south of Paris, Jose grew up with a baker dad. He was trained as both baker and pastry chef and has worked from Switzerland to Belgium. He arrived in the U.S. at age 19 and has been in the kitchens of some of the top names in pastry, such as Jacques Torres, renowned around the world as "Mr. Chocolate."
"It's such a great kitchen. So big and so functional. I'm thinking of starting cooking classes," he says as French music plays in the background. "The music, it reminds you of Chez Paul, yes?"
Claire, on the other hand, was born and raised on Maui, attending Lahainaluna and majoring in home economics. She's worked everywhere from Kobe Steak House to the former Orient Express.
"She can cook!" Jose beams. "She makes all of the lasagna and all of the Hollandaise and other sauces."
In addition, the couple will bring back all of their favorites, including French toast, eggs Benedict, stuffed croissants, salads and soups such as minestrone, clam chowder and now French onion.
They will feature a variety of salads and sushi in the cold deli case to take out. Sam Sohn, who many of you know as owner of the former Unisan restaurant among others, is now on board to roll sushi and to promote the new line of hot foods.
Since the restaurant is currently closed at night, it is available for private parties. But you need to make reservations ahead of time to secure it.
In addition, you may BYOB during the normal operating hours or if you plan to host a private party.
For more details or for take out, call Maui Bake Shop at 242-0064.