Sale of Bali Hai pending after furlough

PRINCEVILLE — After an extended closure, the Bali Hai Restaurant at the Hanalei Bay Resort is nearing a purchase agreement with Bar Acuda chef and owner Jim Moffat.

The deal, which also includes the Happy Talk Lounge, has not yet cleared escrow. Moffat said the sale is expected to close in three weeks.

“The goal is to sell the restaurant. That is what we’re moving toward,” Hanalei Bay Resort General Manager Jim Braman said.

Moffat declined to comment on the purchase price; however, he said the plans include a $1.5 million remodel of the entire lounge and restaurant. The former is expected to close for three months and the latter for six.

Bali Hai closed for renovations late last year, about the time that 40 resort and restaurant workers were furloughed due to cash shortages with the resort’s management company, Quintus Resorts LLC.

Bali Hai did not subsequently re-open, and the upgrades did not take place.

Moffat said he’d planned a new venture for almost a year, and just in the last six months did the unlisted space become available.

The plan is to re-open as a classic French bistro with a white-table-cloth sensibility and regional, simple fare three meals a day, seven days a week. There are plans for a 400-label wine bar and nightly jazz and Hawaiian music.

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