Pau Hana has new owner

KAPAA — The Pau Hana Bar & Grill is now the Pau Hana Grill & Bar.

As of Oct. 1, the cozy bar and restaurant in the Safeway Shopping Center is owned by Ronessa Alisna, who plans to maintain the same menu with a few surprises and tropical drink specials.

The Kapaa native said she is embarking on her dream as a cook when she bought the family eatery where she had been an employee.

“This is a new adventure for me,” Alisna said. “I did it on my own.”

Alisna worked as a cook for 11 years at Kintaro’s in Wailua, before working seven more as a cook for Pau Hana. All the while she planned to run her own place one day.

“I saved and saved while gaining experience by learning to do ordering, inventory and cooking,” Alisna said. “Then I took Quickbooks and other classes online.”

Former owner Tony Torres is retiring after more than a decade running the Kapaa favorite. His company’s liquor license will not transfer to Alisna, because she said they are filed as different corporate entities.

The Kauai County Liquor Control Commission will hold a Dec. 5 hearing to consider Alisna’s application of a new restaurant general license for consumption on premises with live entertainment, but no dancing.

The menu of fresh fish, steak and seafood will remain, with some new items and an expanded tropical drink selection.

Torres took his famous memorabilia and the island’s only Wurlitzer jukebox with him but Alisna has already brought in her own music system. The country music still chimes with the Major League Baseball playoffs on the big screens.

“We want the same laid back atmosphere,” she said.

Alisan said she will be maintaining the same staff of two full-time and four part-time employees.

The Pau Hana Grill & Bar is at 4-831 Kuhio Highway.

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