Maui’s Lahaina Sushi Ko to open in former Avalon Restaurant & Bar space
Jun 12, 2015
Maui's Lahaina Sushi Ko to open in former Avalon Restaurant & Bar space
Jun 11, 2015, 4:43pm HST
Jun 11, 2015, 4:57pm HST
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Two new late-night restaurants, Lahaina Sushi Ko and The Dirty Monkey, are getting ready to open up this summer along Lahaina's historic Front Street on Maui. Lahaina Sushi Ko is slated to open up on July 1 at 844 Front St. in a portion of the former Avalon Restaurant and Bar that was run by chef Mark Ellman , one of the 12 founders of Hawaii regional cuisine in the early 1990s. Owners of the other restaurant and bar, The Dirty Monkey, say it will occupy the former Moose McGillicuddy's Pub & Cafe space above Sushi Ko and could open by the end of this year. Alen Aivazian , an owner of The Dirty Monkey who operates six bars throughout Los Angeles, said he and his business partners are now obtaining the permits they need to operate the estimated 4,500-square-foot, second-floor restaurant. "We're going to have shuffleboard tables, games, a dance floor," Aivazian said. "It's going to be a lot of fun but with a really high-end bar. "
Robert Bluh , a partner in Sushi Ko who also owns Koa's Seaside Grill and Shaka Shave Ice in Lahaina, said the estimated 900-square-foot restaurant will seat close to 30 people on a covered lanai area and open from 11 a.m. to 1 a.m. seven days a week. "We're going to try and attract people from the restaurant industry so they have a place to relax after their shift is over at 10 or 11 at night," Bluh told PBN on Tuesday. "They don't really want to go home now, but everything is closed, so we're looking to open a classy place where they can come and have a glass of wine and some good food. "
Michael Salazar , the sushi sous chef at Morimoto Maui in the Andaz Maui at Wailea Resort, is being brought on board as Lahaina Sushi Ko's executive chef. Robyn Egan , whose husband operates Christopher Egan Galleries in a space next door and serves as Bluh's business partner in Sushi Ko, said the restaurant will employ about 10 people once it opens. "We came up with the idea of sushi because we wanted to generate a need for people to come back into that courtyard (area)," Robyn Egan said. Bluh said the costs to open Sushi Ko were "pretty significant" but declined to say how much those renovations amounted to. "We had to gut the whole place and redo it," Bluh said. "It definitely cost a significant amount of money to get all the right equipment in there. "
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