Story by Marti Rosenquist | Photography by Nina Lee
“Midnight” comes early on the Valley Isle. By 9 p.m., houselights dim, retailers shutter their shops, and most of the island mutters a collective sleepy sigh.
The notorious lack of hoopla after the dinner hours makes perfect sense, with mainland visitors adjusting to the time-zone difference and fun seekers kipping down early to catch a morning wave or sunrise tee time.
But what of those times when you are aching to celebrate, or sing the blues, or simply crave a dose of nocturnal diversion? In truth, moonlit enchantment abounds in West Maui, if you know where to look. From budget dives to high-class dance lounges, here’s the reveal to late nights on the Lahaina side.
Sheraton Maui Resort & Spa
A perfect jumping-off place for your escapade is the Sheraton’s Cliff Dive Bar. Sip a tropical drink and sate your appetite with grilled skewers or smoky crusted flatbread prepared a whiff away at the barbecue station. Watch the cliff diver plunge into the sea off Black Rock as the sun sinks below the horizon, then imagine a night filled with possibilities. Happy hour continues at the Reef’s Edge Bar in the Sheraton lobby.
2605 Ka‘anapali Pkwy., Ka‘anapali, 808-661-0031
Cliff Dive Bar Cocktails 11 a.m.–8 p.m. Food served till 7 p.m.
Reef’s Edge Bar Cocktails 5:30–10 p.m. Happy Hour 8:30–10 p.m.
A perennial favorite for its gorgeous views, perky wait staff, and crowd-pleasing menu (sashimi, ribs, mu shu pork), Kimo’s provides another perfect warm-up zone before you head into the velvety darkness of Front Street. Mai tais for $5.50, $4 house wine, and half-price happy hour pupu enhance Kimo’s popularity. Catch a performance by the amazing Willie K and set the stage for a fantastic evening.
845 Front St., Lahaina, 808-661-4811
Open daily till midnight
This night-on-the-town mainstay features a DJ, two dance floors, and—how to say this delicately?—cheaper booze than anyone else. Those in the know stop in early to prime the pump, while others wind down the night here. Tuesdays and Saturdays, the $5 cover gets you drinks for a buck. Sundays and Mondays, happy hour runs 9 to midnight.
844 Front St., Lahaina, 808-667-7758
Open daily till 2 a.m.
Divas & DJs
David Paul’s Island Grill
Sidle over to this cool bar scene any night of the week, but especially on Fridays for the new Sky Lounge. Besides the late-night tapas—including pommes frites cooked in duck fat, oyster on the shell, and Poketini—enjoy drink specials while ogling the warm-weather fashions and the flirty girls who wear them so well. Nab a spot on one of the lanai sofas and enjoy a DJ soundtrack.
900 Front St., Lahaina, 808-662-3000
Monday–Thursday 6–10 p.m.; Friday–Sunday 6 p.m.–midnight
Replete with cushy white-leathered lounge areas, VIP seating, open-air tables, a state-of-the-art sound system, and scantily clad lovelies, Timba’s is West Maui’s number-one dance zone—the place to get your groove on as top local and international DJs create the soundscape for dancing the night away in a tropical clime. No, it’s not quite LA, but what dance club in the big city invites an ocean swim when the dance floor gets overheated? Ten-dollar cover on Fridays and Saturdays, and you must be at least twenty-one.
505 Front St, Lahaina, 808-661-9873
Thursday–Saturday 10 p.m–2 a.m.
Crazy Karaoke Nights
A recent addition to West Maui’s evening scene, beautiful, serene Japengo thrills sustenance seekers with its sophisticated Asian-fusion menu and sushi served until 11 pm. Word on the street says the establishment may add karaoke. Next door, the bar at Son’z at Swan Court holds sway until midnight.
Hyatt Regency Maui Resort & Spa
200 Nohea Kai Dr., Ka‘anapali, 808-667-4796
Dinner Monday–Sunday 5:30–10 p.m. Lounge 4:30–11 p.m.
Sansei Seafood Restaurant & Sushi Bar
Everyone knows about Sansei’s karaoke nights in Kapalua, when wannabe crooners rock the house, satisfying their inner rock/rap star. Everyone also knows there’s no such thing as a free lunch, but Sansei is a real steal: stave off your hunger until 10 p.m., and from then until 1 a.m., the island’s best sushi is half-priced, and the only cover charge is listening to amateurs channeling Maria Carey.
600 Office Rd., Kapalua, 808-669-3169
Dinner nightly 5:30–10 p.m., Thursday–Saturday 10 p.m.–1 p.m.
Kobe Japanese Steak House
Every weekend, Kobe switches from family-friendly teppan-yaki to a local-loving bar scene bustling with karaoke stalwarts. Stop in to watch duets by adorable tutus, muscle-bound wailers hoisting air guitars, and sentimental ladies belting their hearts out. The fun kicks off Fridays and Saturdays at 9:30 p.m.
136 Dickenson St., Lahaina, 808-667-5555
Dinner nightly 5–10 p.m., sushi till 11:30. Bar open Friday & Saturday until 2 a.m.
Spots for Late-night Sports
Dollie’s Pub & Café
One of the most comfortable bar-sitting locations north of Lahaina, this Old World-style hangout features pizza and sandwiches. Dollie’s is an easy place to mingle with locals who frequent from 9 p.m. to midnight, not so much for multiscreen game viewing at that hour, but for $5 pupus, $1.50 pizza slices, shot specials, and well drinks for $3.75.
4310 Lower Honoapi‘ilani Rd., Kahana, 808-669-0266
Open Mondays–Sundays till midnight.
Maui Brewing Company
Seven days a week, Maui’s only micro-beer producer hosts two happy hours: from 3 to 6, and 9:30 p.m. to midnight. Pints of the company’s award-winning elixirs go for $4, $1.50 pizza slices are manna for the hungry. Need a wakeup call after the late shift? Rest your head on the frost rail for a refreshing eye-opener, then order a sampler of each of Maui Brewing’s terrific beers. Wednesday’s open-mic nights lure talent into the open, while guests sporting a Maui Brew logo shirt net $3 pints all day.
4405 Honoapi‘ilani Hwy., Kahana, 808-669-3474
Late-night menu 9:30 p.m.–midnight.
Smack in the middle of the Wharf Center, this open-air version of the popular Kahului plate-lunch restaurant beckons Front Street revelers with live music and drink specials, starting at 10 p.m. on the weekends.
658 Front St., Lahaina, 808-661-4900
Open Mondays–Thursdays till 11 p.m.; Fridays & Saturdays till midnight
Hard Rock Café
Although Hard Rock’s recently revamped, salubrious menu is served only until 10 p.m., the bartenders carry on, quenching thirsts as long as the music plays. Local performers and the occasional international star grace the stage, starting at 8:30 p.m. most nights, and open-mic nights aim to reveal unknown talent.
900 Front St., Lahaina, 808-667-7400
Open daily till midnight
Royal Lahaina Resort
Third Eye Blind, Toad the Wet Sprocket and Five for Fighting are among the bands that have recently appeared at the resort’s open-air concert series. August 20 brings the Spin Doctors, sure to keep you dancing past midnight.
780 Keka‘a Dr., Ka‘anapali, 808-661-3611
On into Morning
Don’t you dare lower your expectations just because it’s gotten so late. Unlike a bad date, LC’s spice-rubbed New York strip, furikake fish, and famous Evil Jungle pasta remain spectacular clean through to closing time.
180 Dickenson St., Lahaina, 808-661-7082
Open daily until 1 a.m.
LuLu’s Lahaina Surf Club
Big but ever so friendly, LuLu’s is the place to listen to great sounds while noshing on reasonably priced sushi into the wee hours. The club boasts the only public pool tables on West Maui, multiscreen entertainment, a huge dance floor, and drink specials every night. It’s especially popular on Mondays, when service-industry pros are treated to a well-deserved night out with 50 percent off all food and drink. Where the pros go, fun follows.
1221 Honoapi‘ilani Hwy., Lahaina, 808-661-0808
Dinner daily till 10 p.m., Bar open till 2 a.m.
If you are eating dim sum in West Maui at 3 a.m., you are at Lahaina Café. A master of the Maui menu, this latest of the late-night eateries serves American, Vietnamese and local-style food and drinks until closing. After a night of partying your way down Front Street, you may feel emboldened to try the chicken feet in black-bean sauce. Otherwise, barbecued chicken, saimin, or ginger-coconut soup should tame any ills effects of your extended bacchanalia.
843 Waine‘e St., Lahaina, 808-667-6655
Open daily till 4 a.m.
So whether you’re an early bird who is occasionally eousted from your routine by nocturnal friends, or a confirmed night owl in search of moonlit monkeyshines, get out there and indulge in one of Maui’s most magical phases—that sweet time between sundown and sunrise.