The story I’ve heard is that staff had asked a disorderly guest to leave. To spite the restaurant he supposedly lit a fire at the back of the building. By the time the fire was discovered, it was too large to put out with a fire extinguisher. Dinner patrons and staff were all safely evacuated while the fire department was called. The news outlets are reporting $300,000 in damages.
The Oceanside is a new farm-to-table restaurant that opened this past winter in the former Saltimbocca, before that the popular Waterfront restaurant location. They have a beautiful view of the ocean and Maalaea harbor. By all accounts it was popular and doing well. I had meant to check it out, but hadn’t made it there yet.
The police arrested the supposed arsonist (a Kihei resident), however he was released while investigations continue. I assume there isn’t enough evidence to charge him at this time.
I do feel badly for the restaurant owner who had invested his life and money in this new venture. Sixteen employees are now without work also.
The Maui No Ka Oi Magazine has announced some fundraisers are in the work to help them get on their feet again.
This past fall a Texas investor bought the Maalaea Harbor Shops and has been revitalizing the shopping area. This is also the location of Beach Bums and the Pacific Whale Foundation, sharing a parking lot with the Maui Ocean Center.