Best of Maui
Well, the votes are in and the people have spoken. The Best of Maui 2001 Readers Poll asked your opinions and you came through in record numbers (as you can see by the picture on the following page). On an island where word of mouth can establish a business as a legend or shut a restaurant down in a month, we wanted to see what you thought of the things that make Maui great.
Winners receive an award plaque and bragging rights for 364 days. To those who didn’t take the trophy this year, we congratulate you for your efforts and look forward to next year’s “Best of Maui”. Now, let’s get to it…
Best Maui Arts and Entertainment Nightlife Revealed
Best Place to Hear Live Music
Maui Arts & Cultural Center
When it comes to live music, bigger and better is what Mauians come to see. The MACC’s outside A&B Amphitheater is the favorite location to catch a visiting national act or even a local slack key guitar competition. You can’t beat the acoustics of sound bouncing off of swaying palm trees under a Maui sky. sigh.
However, Maui clubs also command a large share of the votes; in order they were: Hapa*s, Casanova, Maui Brews and Moondoggy’s.
Best Local Band or Musician
Big shocker, eh? No surprise here, and well done Maui Time readers. Lahaina boy Willie K has as much natural talent in his big toe as half the ‘boy bands’ out there, and you can quote me on that!
His latest double live CD is getting nationwide distribution and soon people in Wisconsin will know what we know: the guy rocks. He’s in good company, however, as the other nominees include Sly Dog, Marty Dread, Crazy Fingers, Dr. Nat and about every name you’ve seen in the Maui Time music calendar.
Best Radio DJ
Alaka`i—The Morning Goddess
With a name like the Morning Goddess, what you gonna do, vote against her? Most Mauians didn’t, and crowned the Goddess a Queen. Valley Isle residents have been starting their day with Alaka`i and KPOA for years and continue to tune in for her combination of compassion and comedy; they go so well together!
Other jocks to get the nod are fellow station-mates Uncle Boy Kana`e, Shane “the Hawaiian Homeboy” Kahalehau and Al “Braddah Poki” Pokipala. In addition, Kila Kila (the Big Hawaiian), AZD, Solana, Greg Hammer, Johnny A and Jack Gist split the multitude of votes evenly.
Best Radio Station
Like a little rock on the airwaves? The majority of the MT voters do, with The Point just nudging out the island sounds of KPOA. Q103, KAOI, Wild 105 and even NPR received a fair share of votes and were not far behind. Kudos to those who support public radio!
Best Jazz Club
Kihei’s Pizazz Cafe found it’s niche with the Jazz afficionados on the island and Yorman and company continue to provide soothing sounds to accompany the soul food they serve up in sunny south Maui. Limited runner ups include Pacific’O, KKO, the deceased Blackie’s and once again, “Uncle Gaba’s garage”. Uncle must have some show going on at the garage.
Best Community Event
Halloween in Lahaina
What’s not to love? The Mardi Gras of the Pacific draws thousands to Lahaina for the annual parade and party. Costume contests, keiki parade and a freak show second to none are hard to pass up! Mahalo to LahainaTown Action Committee for organizing the disorganization and providing Hawai`i’s biggest dance floor, Front Street.
Other standouts include the Maui County Fair, the Makawao Rodeo, the Sacred Hearts Bazaar, Whale Day, Taste of Lahaina, the Ha`iku Flower Festival, the Seabury Craft Fair and a handful of other events that make Maui a great place to live.
Best Romantic Spot
Due to popular demand, my house is the most romantic spot on Maui. Well, not necessarily my house, but that’s what the voters of Maui had to say. The remaining votes went to Haleakala, early morning Wainapanapa, I’O restaurant at sunset, Rice Park in Kula and of course, Hana.
Best Teen Hangout
Queen Ka`ahamanu Center
Mallrats unite! ‘Best of’ voters gave Maui’s entertaining shopping mecca the trophy for Best Teen Hangout in this year’s competition. Ample people watching, family activities and all your friends are there!
Runner ups include Maui Cue, “the beach”, Front Street and Hapa*s. Random entries include “my boyfriend’s house” and Juvenile Family Court. Everybody’s a comedian…
Best Art Gallery
How can one judge art? Luckily we didn’t even try, but instead wanted to know our reader’s opinions about their favorite gallery. Votes came in pretty even across the board, but it in the end, Village Gallery took the trophy from young upstarts Wild Banana in Wailuku.
Other competitors include Lahaina Galleries, Dolphin Galleries, Celebrities Gallery, Lassen and Viewpoints Gallery. Art, and the reader’s opinions are truly in the eye of the beholder.
DJ Alek and
And heading into the musical arenas, we needed a category for the boys (and girls) that bring the noise. A man of a thousand faces (and a few stage names), DJ Alek can usually be found spinning vinyl and CDs at Maui Brews on Tuesday and Saturday nights. A long time supporter of the underground music scene, Alek can remember to the long gone days of huge outdoor parties featuring DJs from lands far away.
And splitting the prestigious award for Club DJ is drummer-evolved-DJ Forrest, grand poobah of the Green Room, Mulberry Street’s Friday night dance shindig. Forrest has also been spotted manning the wheels of steel at random caves and secret locations island wide. Runner ups in this category include DJ Spin, DJ Blast, Nasty Boy, Slim Boy, Daniel J and east coast transplant B-Funk.
Best Charity Event
Maui AIDS Foundation’s Annual James Manness Memorial Dance Odyssey
An annual charitable tradition held at the Grand Waikapu Country Club, the AIDS Dance Odyssey received the most votes for this year’s Best Charity Event, they’re all winners in this category. Other nominees include Bowl For Kid’s Sake, Just Desserts, Gail Swanson’s Dream To Make A Difference concert, the Terry Fox Run, Look Good/Feel Good fundraiser and the annual Cancer Walk. Congratulations to all and we hope to see even more nominations next year.
Best Dance Floor
When it comes time to shake your groove thang, voters in this year’s Best of Maui chose Maui Brews to cut a rug. Though many prefer to imitate Elaine from Seinfeld, most voters have a good sense of the dance floor etiquette around Maui and chose a handful of locations.
Hapa’s nearly danced away with the trophy, but competition from Casanova, Mulberry Street, Longhi’s and Moondoggies thinned out the field enough to let Maui Brews waltz on by.
Best Free Entertainment
Keiki Hula at the
Lahaina Cannery Mall
These kids are precious, and talented, too! The keiki hula show at the Cannery gives visitors, kama`aina and those grabbing a bite at the food court a free performance every afternoon. There aren’t too many places to see Hawai`i’s youth singing their lungs out for the sheer pleasure of doing it.
Runner ups include “sunset,” “kissing,” “whale watching,” “Four Seasons lobby bar,” “watching traffic” and “Uncle Gaba’s Garage.”
Old Lahaina Luau
The Best Activity category focused on a favorite outing or activity for visitors and kama`aina alike. And while answers ranged from “indoor golf” to “drinking”, most people responded with their chosen trip. Old Lahaina Luau scored high with twice as many votes as it’s closest competitors: Trilogy (to Lana`i), Blue Hawai`i Helicopters, or a Pacific Whale Foundation whale watch. Readers recognize Old Lahaina Luau’s warm Hawaiian atmosphere, tasty cuisine and cultural significance as a winner.