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Closing Time for Paddlers Inn

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Photo by Catherine Cluett Pactol

Paddlers Inn will be closed temporarily for construction and a turn-over of ownership, according to current management. The bar and restaurant, which has been in operation for about 12 years and has gone through nearly half a dozen owners during that time, is in the process of being purchased by a Molokai family. One of two bars on Molokai, the current business’s last day of operation was Saturday.

Current part owner Jerry Johnson said construction underway in the parking lot is to install a steel structure for solar panels for all tenants of the two buildings on the property.

“This solar power grid has been in planning for some two years,” said Johnson, via email. “The Eye Center building has been installed with solar power during phase one some two years ago.”

Johnson said the business was created and opened by his brother Jimmy more than 10 years ago.

“With the help of too many local friends to list here, his dream was to bring a full service restaurant to Kaunakakai that would bring good and affordable food and a local watering hole where locals could meet friends and enjoy some mostly local music,” said Johnson.

Manager Mike Helm, who had worked at the business since its inception, said Johnson is fifth owner. The business has struggled through many changes in management and operation over the years. At the end of last year, the restaurant changed from offering full service dining with wait staff, to having customers order and pay at a counter, which management said reduced both prices and wait times.

Johnson said Paddlers will reopen in time for the channel paddling races in September. Once the sale of the property and business is finalized, the Dispatch will provide an update with the new owners.

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