It’s dispiriting when a good restaurant closes, and we’re truly sorry to say goodbye to David Paul’s Island Grill in Lahaina, which closed on September 1, laying off 25 employees and leaving a gorgeous 7,800 square foot location empty.
We’ve heard rumors that Lahaina Center, where the restaurant was located, will be turning into an outlet mall sometime soon, and Chef David Paul Johnson posted as much in a comment on the restaurant’s Facebook page, where he wishes the new tenants much success.
Escalating operating costs (rent, electricity, food, insurance) over the past three years are apparently the core issue, rising by as much as 25%. But Chef David Paul hasn’t gone to ground: he’s reportedly searching for his next location. It sounds like it will be scaled back in both size and scope, with an affordable bistro-style menu.
When we published our first review of David Paul’s Island Grill in our 2010 edition of Top Maui Restaurants, we concluded with a request that he open a South Maui location, and offered the empty lot next to our home as an attractive option. The offer stands.
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