Paddlers Shuts Its Doors
Owners put business up for sale.
By Melissa Kelsey
From relaxing and playing pool with friends to savoring a tasty burger and a cold beer, Paddlers Inn Restaurant and Bar has been a favorite hangout for Molokai residents for the past four years. It was also one of only two bars on the island.
Last week, owners Robert and Sharon Spruiell of Arizona announced their decision to shut down Paddlers and put the restaurant up for sale. The eatery stayed open through last Friday and hosted a graduation party. The Spruiells hope to sell the business to a buyer who will re-open the space as a restaurant.
“It is sad for Molokai because it is one less place to eat and have some drinks with friends,” said employee Michael Helm, who worked there from day one.
Mrs. Spruiell said she and her husband decided to close Paddlers because it was too difficult to operate from the mainland. She also cited the economy and dwindling clientele as contributing factors to the decision.
Paddlers employed 26 employees on its regular payroll, in addition to artists and contractors hired for individual events, according to Mrs. Spruiell. Manager Curtis Akiona said he will miss the regular customers, his co-workers and the owners.
Helm said the employees were given very short notice about the closing.
Robert and Sharon Spruiell inherited Paddlers last year after their son Robert Spruiell Jr., known on Molokai as Kamuela Kamakana, died in Florida.