PAIA PICKS UP . . . I popped into Paia the other day to see if I could find out any information on the upcoming Rock & Brews Pa'ia restaurant. Construction workers were getting ready to cover interior walls with koa and rock facades for the targeted opening Jan. 26. Of course, KISS rock legends Paul Stanley and Gene Simmons are co-founding partners in the franchise, which boasts other locations in Mexico and Southern California, for starters.
Fairmont Kea Lani, Maui in Wailea is the official hotel sponsor for the opening, so it's offering a three-night KISS Rock & Roll VIP Hotel Package.
Valid Jan. 24 to 27, the package includes a one-bedroom suite, two tickets to the Rock & Brews Pa'ia opening, access to the resort's Willow Stream Spa VIP opening party and two Rock & Brews T-shirts.
Milagro’s dishwasher Josh Van Winkle cleans and stacks glasses, amusing diners during happy hour in the popular Paia restaurant.
The Maui News / CARLA TRACY photo
"Our VIP party will be held from 5:30 to 8 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 26, in our new spa," says Fairmont's Director of Public Relations Megan Haertling.
"We'll feature a whole rock n' roll theme with sushi rolls, cocktails on the rocks and a meet n' greet with Paul Stanley and Gene Simmons. Partygoers will be treated to hot rock neck massages, drinks from the Red Lipstick Bar and rock manicures. To book the VIP package, call 875-2229 or visit www.fairmont.com/kealani.
Meanwhile, next door to Rock & Brews, Charley's is in the throes of revamping its menu. Former executive chef at Hali'imaile General Store, Erik "Chewy" Cereceres, is now in charge of the kitchen.
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"We are excited that Chef Chewy has joined our team to greatly improve our menu, offerings and consistency," says Charley's owner Jonathan C. Herman.
Open for breakfast, lunch and dinner, Charley's has just rolled out an entirely new dinner menu that includes citrus mango mahimahi ceviche, sauteed shrimp and Portuguese sausage jambalaya.
"Our goal is to provide quality, local, fresh food at affordable prices for people who live on Maui and for visitors that join us each year," says Herman.
BITS AND PIECES . . . As you may have already heard, two landmark Kapalua restaurants have teamed up to become equity partners.
The Cohn Restaurant Group, the umbrella company for Pineapple Grill on the Kapalua Bay Course, has assumed management and operations for Plantation House as of the first of the year. "We look forward to this unique partnership and leveraging the assets and expertise from both restaurants to provide Kapalua Resort, and Maui, with two distinctive, but complimentary, culinary venues," explains George Mackin of Plantation House, publisher of Tennis magazine along with Chris Evert.
"We are thrilled to join together with the Mackins and the exceptional staff at The Plantation House to bring this iconic Maui destination to the next level. We believe that with our collective experience - George's marketing expertise and our 30-plus years in the food and beverage industry -we can provide an unparalleled dining experience for all of our guests," comments David Cohn.
Hyundai Tournament of Champions spectators may buy clubhouse tickets to dine at Plantation House Friday through Monday.
In the next few weeks, Blue Lagoon restaurant at Wharf Cinema Center in Lahaina will change hands and will be called Makani Kai Island Grill & Bar.
In Kihei, Just Wing It chicken takeout store at Piilani Shopping Center is cobranding with Sumo Dog to serve hot dogs on sweet bread rolls with sauces, such as mango and Maui onion mustard.
"We're cobranding with Sumo Dog, says Just Wing It partner Michael Capuano. "So in addition to our chicken wings, we've added a local favorite,100-percent beef hot dogs with three delicious local sauces."
The Food Channel also interviewed Capuano to be a host on a new food show. The pilot is tentatively scheduled to be on Maui, shooting end of January or early February. Then it goes to the Big Island. And, Capuano has a new Wow-Wee Maui Candy Bar out: It's dark chocolate with Hawaiian sea salt and caramel, available at Long's Drugs stores and Sir Wilfred's in Lahaina.