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The Old Lāhainā Lūʻau is owned and operated by Hoaloha Na Eha , Ltd. (four friends) Michael Moore, Robert Aguiar, Kevin Butler and Tim Moore formed the partnership in 1986.

1986 Old Lāhainā Lūʻau Opens

Robert and Michael developed and opened the Lūʻau for a large ocean recreation company, which had leased the land fronting 505 Front Street in Lāhainā. The small shopping complex on the southern edge of Lāhainā town had recently reopened following bankruptcy. The recreation company operated the Lūʻau for approximately five months, when it was decided that it was not in their best interests to continue the operation. Although naturally it would take time, Robert and Michael were convinced that the Old Lāhainā Lūʻau was a great opportunity. Rather than see it close down, they recruited the support of Tim and Kevin, gathered their limited savings and presented the owners with an offer to purchase the Lūʻau. It took many more meetings and a lot of “pencil sharpening” for an acceptable deal to be made, but eventually the young partners purchased the Old Lāhainā Lūʻau.

After many years in the visitor and entertainment industry, the partners felt there was a need for more culturally sensitive entertainment than was then available through hotel Lūʻau presentations. There was no Lūʻau on Maui strictly showcasing traditional Hawaiian music, dance and food. The Lūʻau operated on beautiful oceanfront grounds at 505 Front in Lāhainā, with a local family catering the food, no liquor license (BYOB) and lots of great comments from the 100 or so guests who attended the three-times-a week show. From the beginning, Hawaiian values of aloha, Hoʻokipa (hospitality), and Poʻokela (excellence) have been important ingredients in the business philosophy of Hoaloha NāʻEhā and the Old Lāhainā Lūʻau.

The Old Lāhainā Lūʻau was, without doubt, a passion project for the partners, but with limited revenue from the operation it was essentially a part-time job, as all four held other jobs in addition to running the Lūʻau. Monthly billing was done by hand, sitting in a circle on the floor of Tim’s rented house. It would be a while before the business could afford an office or any office equipment. Funds for advertising were limited at the beginning, so marketing consisted of physically going out and inviting activity desks, concierge, bellmen and pool attendants to attend the Lūʻau. The response from both community and guests were very enthusiastic. Soon the Lūʻau was averaging 200 guests per evening.

1988-Old Lāhainā Cafe

 Despite serious discouragement from bankers and business consultants, the partners firmly believed in the quality and future of their product, and in 1986 a restaurant adjacent to the Lūʻau was purchased, providing both a liquor license and an on-site kitchen. The purchase further stretched the financial limits of the partners. The Lūʻau was suddenly more than a “love of Hawaiian music and culture”; it was a “real business”. Through obtaining a liquor license and an increased level of control over food quality, Old Lāhainā Lūʻau was able to become competitive with larger hotel operations. Although the purchase of the Cafe was risky, it proved to be worth the gamble. Business flourished and soon the Luau was being held seven nights a week with capacity audiences of nearly 300 guests per evening. The old Lāhainā Cafe featured local style breakfast, lunch, and dinner. After the Lūʻau, the Cafe featured local Hawaiian music as well as some of the great names in Hawaiian music.

1993 – Continued Innovation

The Old Lāhainā Lūʻau continued to grow in popularity. Quality and “cultural sensitivity” garnered numerous awards and accolades. Then in 1993, a “scathing review” appeared in an important local publication. “We took it and changed everything,” said Michael Moore. We added a fresh flower lei for each guest, upgraded all seating arrangements, menus and beverages. As well as increasing our prices in order to compensate for the upgrades; which came with no resistance once people experienced the “new” Old Lāhainā Lūʻau. The lesson was “to learn from criticism and make it an opportunity,” and Old Lāhainā Lūʻau is proud to be the first Lūʻau in the state to offer fresh flower leis to every guest that attended.

1996- Aloha Mixed Plate

In 1996 the Hoaloha NāʻEhā partners opened a local-style plate lunch restaurant along the shoreline near Mala Wharf. Aloha Mixed Plate was twice voted “Best Plate Lunch” by readers on of The Maui News. The restaurant’s Coconut Prawn Pupu won “Best Appetizer” in the 1999 Taste of Lahaina food festival. Aloha Mixed Plate is THE West Maui place to go for fun and casual meals of plantation fare in a jaw-dropping alfresco setting for breakfast, lunch, dinner and happy hour.

1998- Moaliʻi

In the Lūʻau’s tenth year, the partners knew they had to reinvent the attraction in some way. A major reason was the number of repeat visitors. Plans began for a move to a new and larger location. In May 1998, the Old Lāhainā Lūʻau took up residence at its current magnificent site at the Kāʻanapali end of Lāhainā town, near historic Mala Wharf in a place once known as Moaliʻi. Although almost four times the size of the original site, each guest is still made to feel individually special while enjoying elegant surroundings, “gourmet” Lūʻau food, and cultural entertainment unparalleled in the islands.

Even with a proven track record, financing the move and development was a major obstacle. Once again it took perseverance and a strong belief in the product to reach the goals of the partnership. The Old Lāhainā Lūʻau at its new larger location at Moaliʻi has been at the capacity attendance since its opening in May 1998. Fourth year sale projections were reached the first full year of operation.

1999- The Feast at Lele

With the move to Moaliʻi, the Lūʻau and Cafe were closed at 505 Front Street, however the new lessees of the property approached the Hoaloha NāʻEhā partners to form a new venture at the old sites. The Feast at Lele opened in April 1999 and showcases the food, music and dance of four Pacific Island nations, Hawaiʻi, Aotearoa (New Zealand), Tahiti, and Samoa. The evening features a five-course gourmet meal prepared by Chef Adrian Aina and Polynesian entertainment produced by the Old Lāhainā Lūʻau team. The feast at Lele has already garnered many positive reviews including prestigious, Travel and Leisure Magazine, which said “This is the most fabulous cooking on Maui,” which is saying a lot. The Hoaloha Nāʻ Ehā partnership owns fifty percent of the Feast at Lele.

2010- Star Noodle

Star Noodle, modeled after noodle houses in New York and San Francisco, offers a wide variety of Asian cuisine with a Maui twist, featuring house made noodles. Dishes are designed to be shared family style whether seated at the full bar or one of our dining room tables. Many of the restaurant’s recipes include ingredients sourced from local farmers in Wailuku.  Star Noodle provides a fun Maui dining experience with familiar yet unique food for locals and visitors alike.

2011– Leoda’s Kitchen and Pie Shop

In the quaint little town of Olowalu sits a hidden gem, Leoda’s Kitchen and Pie Shop, where casual family style dining is served in a comfortable plantation-era atmosphere. The menu features an assortment of hand-crafted sandwiches, salads, baked goods, daily specials and of course, sweet and savory pies. Our focus on farm fresh and sustainable ingredients is important to us and we work with our local providers to ensure we are offering the best product available to our customers.

Today

The Old Lāhainā Lūʻau has grown from its humble beginnings to the leadership role it now holds in the industry. At nearly 100 percent capacity year-round, the Lūʻau seats 340 guests seven evenings a week, and has a dedicated staff of 200 employees. Hoʻokipa (hospitality), Poʻokela (excellence), and aloha (love) are still the hallmark values expressed every evening at the lūʻau.

Our lūʻau has received numerous recognitions and accolades including: “Keep it Hawaiʻi- Kahili Award” from Hawaiʻi Visitors Convention Bureau, “Reader’s Choice for Best Lūʻau in Hawaiʻi” by Hawai’i Magazine, “ʻAipono Award for Best Lūʻau” from Maui Nō Ka ʻOi magazine which features the best food and beverage restaurants in Hawaiʻi, and “Mauiʻs Best Lūʻau” by Maui Time voted mostly by the local community. The three restaurants are also award winners for Hawai’i Magazine, Maui Nō Ka ʻOi Magazine, and The Maui Time.