Makena Grill History
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Makena grill was started in 1996, back then, simply called 'the Grill'. It was the idea of Clarence Tavares, better known in Hawaii as 'Sonny-Vic'. He is the owner of 'Sonny-Vics Paving Company'. Sonny-Vic grew up in Kula and knows more about the history and growth on Maui than most. He and his wife, Harriet, built their home in Makena and eventually Sonny came up with the idea for 'the Grill' as a way to keep his grandchildren off the streets and busy running the grill. It lasted until 2001. That's when Marisa began renting the grill from Sonny. He was kind enough to show her his recipe for the teriyaki sauce, (which Marisa changed a bit). Also, he showed her 'the ropes' on how to run the business. After four years of leasing the grill, Sonny was ready for retirement from the paving company, now operated by his only son, Clarence Jr. And the grill, he offered to Marisa for purchase. With a little pep talk from Sonny, he convinced Marisa she was ready to own the business herself. So in 2005, Marisa became the owner of Makena Grill.
Marisa went on to being voted 'Best Lunch Maui' 2 years in a row, ('06 and '07). She was also voted 'Best Chef' in '07. She is well rated in almost all of the travel guides, the most popular being the Maui Revealed. Tony Hawk claimed it to be his "best meal in Hawaii or anywhere for a long time!" look for upcoming articles in National Geographic Traveler written by actor Andrew Mc Carthy, as well as the Fairmont Hotels in-room magazine. So it seems, all the hard work has been worth it!
Some days, if you are in luck, friend Kalisi Oliveti will be there carving his authentic tiki's. Marisa has help from Sharon and Gil supplying her with the kiawe wood,(aka mesquite) and maintaining the grill. She most times does all the work on her own. Shopping, prepping, cooking, serving, and entertaining, and of course, the endless questions! Thanks to you, wonderful friends and customers, for your continuous support of makena grill, and of course, all the refferals that come year after year. Mahalo!
Hours of operation: I try to open daily from 11ish to 4ish! Sometimes I travel and close for short periods of time. If this is the case, a sign will be posted at the grill. Or, call Makena Grill at 808.281.5700 for advanced info or to-go orders.