Hello Friends and Family,

Memories of Lahaina, Part 2

Link to this year's index by clicking here.

One of my favorite dining experiences was Kimos in the heart of Lahaina. Every diner has their favorite dish — maybe Macadamia Nut Calamari from the PuPu list, Caesar salad, Fresh Fish (and they mean "FRESH", probably caught the same day) Baked "Kimo's Style", and don't forget the Hulu Pie for dessert.

From Front Street, you could see the entrance and also see inside to determine if it was busy or not.

At street level, there was the more casual dining experience — perfect for a quick lunch as you gaze over the ocean with the terrific view of the island of Lana’l and the boats arriving and departing the small boat harbor. Dinner was usually served upstairs with an even better view.

And here is a close-up of the Hulu Pie. I know certain readers of this humble photo blog whose mouths are watering just looking at the photo — the crushed Oreo cookie crust, the mountain of macadamia ice cream, the hot fudge topping with whipped cream, all covered with a sprinkling of chopped macadamia nuts — so delicious and so big you had to share.

Of course, there is more history that I would like to share. When I first started visiting Maui, the company that owns Kimo's and several other restaurants in Hawai’i would leave a small pile of business cards in various stores in the area advertising their chain of restaurants. The cards also offered a free slice of Hula Pie to the bearer when they came to any of those restaurants and ordered a meal. I then began picking up extra cards and keeping them from trip to trip in case I would be unable to find more of them on the subsequent trip. Sadly, they discontinued that free treat — probably because the Hula Pie became so famous, that it did not need the free promotion.

Here is a view of Front Street with shops lining both sides of the street. When I first visited Maui, it seemed like most of the shops carried trinkets for tourists to remember their trip or to share the fun with folks back home. Over time, the items for sale evolved adding t-shirts, jewelry, and eventually high-priced works of art.

One of the art galleries that I enjoyed visiting (only to look at) contained the exquisite works of Robert Wyland. According to Wikipedia, "By 1997, his commercial work (sold through Wyland Galleries LLC) and licensed merchandise sold at zoos and other outlets had become a multimillion-dollar business supporting both his galleries and his non-profit endeavors for the conservation of coasts and waterways. His artwork has been featured on California and Florida specialty license plates as well as on a series of four United Nations stamps issued in 2010 to commemorate the 50th Anniversary of the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission."

I always enjoyed his artwork in various media but could never afford to own one. His murals of whales and other large sea creatures can be found on the exterior of many public buildings — so everyone could enjoy them. In fact, he painted a mural on the exterior wall of one of the Front Street buildings but was forced to paint over it because the Lahaina Restoration Society (as best I recall) objected that the mural was not historic.

To me, Lahaina always had an atmosphere that reminded me of the old west (plus some classic cars such as the VW Beetle seen here). Many of the buildings were old and they showed their age. I suspect that this was a factor in how quickly and completely the town was devoured by the flames.

Here we see the Martin Lawrence Gallery. Their website says that their gallery is "No ka oi 'the best' Gallery of Fine Art on Maui for over 25 years. Discover original paintings, sculpture, and limited edition works of art by many of the world’s most recognized artists including Andy Warhol, Pablo Picasso, Marc Chagall, Erté, Mark Kostabi, and Liudmila Kondakova."

As you would expect, the gallery and contents were completely destroyed. Future plans have been not announced.

This one really hurts. Cheeseburger in Paradise was one of my and Johnny's favorite informal dining spots. When I told him that I could tell from the aerial shots that it was completely destroyed, the only thing he could say was "Nooooooo!" No plans have been announced but I know lots of people loved this dining spot and are hoping that they will be able to rebuild the business.

How many of you know that Mick Fleetwood of the rock group Fleetwood Mac owned a restaurant in Lahaina? Their website states, "Fleetwood's on Front St. is a multi-level venue in the heart of Lahaina, Maui. Our Main Dining Level features Mick Fleetwood memorabilia and is graced with warmth and charm, just like our beloved owner. We also have Lahaina's only Rooftop dining that overlooks the beautiful Pacific Ocean as well as the majestic West Maui Mountains. The rich ambiance and impressive decor at Fleetwood's on Front St. coupled with our Chef-inspired menus will provide you with memories for a lifetime and create an unforgettable experience - one that will truly 'wow' your guests. With live music, a daily sunset ceremony, lively happy hours, and a rockstar or two — Fleetwood's is the place to be."

I confess I have never dined there, partially because the restaurant was relatively new and because it was a bit expensive. However, people have told me that the food was excellent.

From Mick Fleetwood himself, "Maui and Lahaina have been my home for several decades. This is a devastating moment for Maui and many are suffering unimaginable loss,” Fleetwood continued. “Fleetwoods on Front Street has been lost and while we are heartbroken — our main priority is the safety of our dear staff and team members.” And lastly, “On behalf of myself and my family, I share my heartfelt thoughts and prayers for the people of Maui. We are committed to supporting the community and those affected by this disaster in the days months and years to come.”

And here we see the famous Banyan Tree which covered approximately an acre of a central park. Reports state that some of the tree seems to be viable and the nature of Banyan Trees may help this one recover and grow again.

Last for today is the Pioneer Inn which stands alongside the boat harbor. In the 1860s, a young Samuel Clemens, who had only recently adopted the pen name of Mark Twain, was one of the first reporters to be sent from the mainland of the US to the Hawaiian islands. Further, it is thought that he stayed at this old hotel and watched the ships arrive and anchor just offshore.

For those who are interested, in helping the folks on Maui recover, there are many organizations taking donations.
Hawaiian Airlines lists several such organizations — click here.

To be continued...

Life is good.

B. David

P. S., All photos and text © B. David Cathell Photography, Inc. — www.bdavidcathell.com