Popular Maui restaurant serves its last meal

Popular Maui restaurant serves its last meal

MAALAEA, MAUI (HawaiiNewsNow) - Some say a string of recent restaurant closures on Maui are a sign of changing moods among tourists.

Not one, not two, but three popular restaurants have closed up shop in the past month.

The most recent is Buzz's Wharf in Ma'alaea.

The eatery known for its Tahitian prawns and kanikapila nights closed Friday night after 47 years in the business.

Stella Blues Café in Kihei shut down on April 27th after 23 years of business.

Moose McGillycuddy's in Lahaina closed on May 23rd after 31 years of business.

"It's just not the same...it's different.  Different clientele…and they're just not spending the money.  They're not just planning on going out every night anymore," said former General Manager Marla Braun-Miller.

Research from the Hawaii Tourism Authority echoes that.

It shows spending has gone down eight months in a row.

While spending has gone down only 2-percent from last year, Executive Director for Hawaii Restaurant Association Roger Morey says the food and beverage industry is taking a beating.

He says vacationers are choosing to spend their money in other areas.

"There are fewer dollars for the tourists to spread around and some of them are going to make the choice to probably spend a little less in a restaurant or they might downsize the type of restaurant that they go to," Morey said.

He says bed and breakfast locations are on the rise.

Plus, several hotels now offer continental breakfasts, which give tourists a bang for their buck while restaurant owners take the hit.

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