By Brandon Roberts
After a brief stay in permit purgatory, Paddlers’ Inn restaurant and bar is set to officially reopen tomorrow, Jan. 26.
Bar manager and Paddlers’ relic Michael Helm was busy putting the first alcohol shipment to shelf and ice in preparation for tomorrow’s ladies night. He was all smiles, replacing dust with an arsenal of fermented flavors.
“This is a new year, a clean slate and we are movin’ on,” Helm said. “We have a great environment for people to enjoy and are just excited to have the doors back open.”
A tumultuous tenure under the ownership of Darrin Abell, who purchased Paddlers’ in August 2009, led to the sale of the business to Hilo restaurateur Louis Santiago on May 28 of 2010.
However, the end of Abell’s ownership was also the end of Paddlers’ liquor permit. Santiago kept just the restaurant open for several months after the purchase but eventually was forced to close. Alcohol revenues needed to keep the doors open were lost at sea during the reapplication process with Maui County.
While the ownership baton has been passed five times in three years, the faces behind the counter have not changed much and the 20-or-so employees are ready to get back into the groove.
Paddlers’ is open seven days a week, with hours of operation Monday, Tuesday and Thursday from 11 a.m.-10 p.m; Wednesday (ladies’ night with different D.J.s) and Friday from 11 a.m.-2 a.m., and Sundays, 3-7 p.m. Lunch is served from 11-2, pupus from 2-5:30 p.m. and dinner 5:30-8 p.m., with happy hour from 3-6 p.m. and daily specials.
Paddlers’ has decided to limit its menu to lunch and dinner until it is fully reestablished. It is unclear if a breakfast menu will return.
After Saturday night’s Battle at the Barn, Paddlers’ plans to welcome the community with the return of night life in Kaunakakai. Expect all the punches to be thrown inside the ring as a strict no fighting policy will be enforced at the bar.
Stay tuned to themolokainews.com for a deeper look into the liquor permitting process in Maui County and why Paddlers’ was required to reapply.