Like a lot of folks who visit Maui, the Longhi family arrived on island in 1976 and realized they had found their “home”. After eating dinner in the building at 888 Front Street and discovering it in chapter 11 bankruptcy, founder Bob Longhi jumped at the chance to lay down his roots in historic Lahaina, creating one of the first farm to table restaurants in the area… 43 years later and boy are we thankful that he did. If you ask local residents if they have eaten there in the past, most will say it was a “usual” spot for them.
If you are one of those fortunate folks who were able to enjoy the elements of this location, you probably walked out with a belly full of scrumptious food and a mind filled with panoramic ocean views and memories to tuck away for those happy moments.
Mr. Longhi’s addition of a celebrated chef, Carol Longhi O’Leary, a graduate from the Culinary Institute of America, bolstered the eating place with her potato battered crab cakes, grilled swordfish with mango or maybe you splurged and tried the rack of lamb and goat cheese leek ravioli. The thoughts are making my mouth water! Breakfast was also a favorite and the eggs benedict, classic or embellished could always start your day on a winning note.
Time changes things and with rising grocery and labor costs along with a slower stream of customers, the owners began to re-evaluate the burden this establishment was creating on their other locations and made the decision to close the beloved eatery. Since the closing, that end of Front Street engages a little melancholy for me as I am sure you may also feel as you stroll down that way.
This note from the owners is posted on their website at longhis.com but we’ve included it here for ease…
For over 4 decades, we have had the honor & privilege of serving you all through good food and company. We couldn’t have thanked you more for these 43 years, the memories that we all hold will be with us forever. We could probably go on for a lifetime of “thank yous” and how dearly we will miss serving you at the Lahaina location, but instead we’ll keep it short. We have had the most amazing journey, we are so grateful for each and every one of you who have passed through our doors, we thank you from the bottom of our hearts, but it is time to say goodbye. You can all still enjoy the same recipes at our other locations, Longhi’s Wailea and Longhi’s Ko Olina. Again, we thank you for a brilliant and beautiful 43 years.
A hui hou❤️
Mahalo to the Longhi family for taking a chance and changing lives by creating lifelong memories on Front Street. Be sure to visit their other locations on your next trip to Maui!