Deal Off for Tante’s and Hotel

Tante’s Island Cuisine’s contract with Hotel Molokai has been called off. Tante’s owner Tante Urban and Hotel Molokai Manger Micheal Drew both confirmed the Maui-based company will no longer be responsible for management of the hotel’s bar and restaurant, though neither would give a reason. Both called it a “mutual agreement.”

Tante’s at Hotel Molokai had been operating the bar and offering a small grill menu while the hotel’s kitchen is being rebuilt after a fire destroyed it two years ago.

Management deal or not, Drew said kitchen construction is still on schedule to be completed in early 2015.

“We hope to open doors to the public on or before Valentine’s Day,” Drew confirmed.

In April, Tante’s Island Cuisine, a family operated restaurant on Maui, was awarded a management contract from Hotel Molokai and officially took over operation of the former Hula Shores Bar. They hired local staff and anticipated bringing good service and a diverse menu to Molokai once the kitchen was rebuilt. But recently, with the kitchen nearing completion, the partnership was called off.

“It’s been a tough business,” said Urban. “We agreed that it’s better if we separate.”

Drew said the hotel does not have an outside operator lined up for the new restaurant and is looking for options. Drew said his personal expertise is in the hotel business rather than restaurant management. However, he said at this point Hotel Molokai is “moving forward as if we are going to operate it.”

“We want this restaurant to be number one eatery on Molokai,” he said.

In the meantime, the bar is open seven days a week from 3 to 10 p.m., though Drew said he has decided not to continue any bar-side food operation until the new kitchen is open.

“We’re looking forward to getting back to serving the community. We are getting closer,” said Drew.

He estimates the restaurant opening to be in January or February. Check Hotel Molokai’s Facebook page for updates on the progress.


3 Responses to “Deal Off for Tante’s and Hotel”

  1. hawaiiangirl says:

    Very interesting. More to this story.

  2. sluczonjoao says:

    Aloha Molokai Dispatch Staff,

    Can someone please call me in regards to this article.
    By phone is preferred. There some incorrect references
    that we wish to be corrected.

    Starlet Luczon Joao
    (808) 646-9177

  3. TyroneShoelaces says:

    The “more” to this story has to do with how difficult it is to get anything done on Moloka’i. Tante’s simply got fed up with all the unnecessary red tape and the lack of any sense of urgency on the part of those who were in a position to make this happen.

    The real irony here is that the very constituencies these people purport to protect are the ones who are most hurt by the foot dragging. I would be the last person in the world to want to see the island turned into another Oahu or Kaua’i, but there’s a balance that needs to be achieved that right now is terribly out of round.

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