- Associated Press - Monday, January 27, 2014

PAIA, Hawaii (AP) - A Maui restaurant whose business partners includes veteran Kiss rock ‘n’ roller Gene Simmons is set to open despite concerns from some in the community that the establishment won’t fit in with Paia’s laid-back charm.

Rock & Brews is set to open next month in Paia, a small northern Maui town characterized by its plantation architecture.

At a blessing Sunday, business partner Paul Stanley of Kiss addressed the concerns, the Maui News (https://ow.ly/sZVtl) reported.

“I’ve been coming to Maui for 26 years. I don’t consider myself native, but I love this place and I always have,” he said. “Anybody who was refrained from what we were going to bring in is mistaken. What’s happened in every area Rock & Brews has come to is that we have shown that we’re good neighbors and that we want to improve the community and be a part of the community.”

Other Rock & Brews restaurants have been opened in Redondo Beach and El Segundo, Calif., and San Jose Del Cabo, Mexico.

Building the restaurant meant assuring local merchants and residents that the establishment will be family friendly and won’t be blasting Kiss music. It also had to battle appeals by Wailuku attorney Isaac Hall and the Maui Tomorrow Foundation, who alleged that the project’s value of $435,000 was incorrect. The valuation allowed the business to get a minor special management area permit, instead of one required for projects costing more than $500,000.

“We love Paia, and I think I’ve designed it to fit in well,” founder and co-owner Michael Zislis said. “If you look at the outside it looks like it’s been here forever, and it’s very sensitive with all of the cultural art on the walls.”

The restaurant now has 75 employees, including 25 servers, 25 cooks and 12 bartenders, manager David Morbitt said.

State Sen. J. Kalani English and Maui Mayor Alan Arakawa were among those who attended the blessing.

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Information from: The Maui News, https://www.mauinews.com


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