Exciting New Upcountry Project at Makawao Steak House
With 40 years of service to the Maui community, Makawao Steak House is bringing an exciting new project to the community under new ownership. Hoku Nui Maui was able to reach an agreement with former owners, Cafe O’lei. The change in management and philosophy will be marking a new era as it transitions to a farm-to-table restaurant with everything locally grown and produced by Hoku Nui Maui themselves.
Joshua Chavez, director of operations stated:
“We know that the steakhouse has a very local clientele, and we want to keep it that way. We want to keep serving the Upcountry community anytime of the week, not just for special occasions.”
The restaurant is choosing to retain its historic name and keep the restaurants reputation intact. The vast majority of its workers from the farm and restaurant will be kept on, between them they have about 25 workers each.
The land management group is wasting no time in securing a liquor license as they appeared before the Liquor Control Commission to request approval for a general license for liquor and live music.
Chavez addressed the appearance of the first new menu items will not be until the 3rd and 4th quarter of the year, “As we go throughout this year, we’re going to start adding products on the table.”
He also clarified that the live music for the restaurant would be a solo performer playing dinner music. He went on to further mention that the farm also produces honey and eggs, which are sold at the farm. The eggs also are sold to wholesalers.
The group has a vision for the future and intend to eventually grow fruit trees and vegetable crops.
“This is an outlet for where we can provide local food to our community,” Chavez said. “One way is our farm stand, but we also wanted to provide food locally and not have to ship it out anywhere. The opportunity with the steakhouse was there, and it seemed like the perfect fit right around the corner.”
While the group continues to develop its farm and livestock, the 5,500-square-foot restaurant will partner with local suppliers for food on the menu. The ultimate goal of the farm is to grow, raise and produce as much of the menu as it can, Chavez said.
“We’ll kind of grow what we need at the restaurant, or vice versa, we’ll serve what we can grow,” he said.
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