Saturday September 1, 2018

A few months ago, my good friend and I “stumbled” upon a quaint, relatively quiet oasis amidst the “Triangle”, a distinct slice of south Maui. The eclectic mix of pubs, digs and shops catering to both locals and visitors alike, this one distinct place allowed us the space and ambiance to simply enjoy the unpretentious but superb menu along with world class tap and nitro concoctions. Although we suffer from ails of various nature, the name of the place caught our attention. “What Ales You” the sandwich board said.

Then came Hurricane Lane. As it is a stone’s throw from my place, I ventured out and not surprisingly found Kihei Road practically empty, Kalama Park was closed, businesses shuttered in anticipation of the brunt which made folks hunker down. Not to be disheartened, I chanced upon the only hopping place! It seemed like folks intuitively gathered at the only watering hole that remained open. Owners Derek, Cy the phenom chef among Maui’s elite and Jessica Thoma, at the helm managing the bar were practically forced to good, This magical triumvirate welcomed whoever walked in, not to turn away those of us who while away the weather and kept the pace and the place moving like clockwork.

The ambiance is welcoming, some choose to stay in the cozy lanai, while others settled in the refreshing bar in air conditioned comfort. The bar food is beyond comfort food, their in house concocted sauces and hot sauce are to live for. This Taphouse as Derek calls it has ascended into the elite world of a Gastro Pub! Happy hour has both our “kamaaina”, or locals mingling with visitors from five star hotels simply savoring the best bar food and the best selection of both tap and nitro brews written on a chalkboard, talk about down to earth.

The menu choices are such that I have to return, for after every one, I am happily surprised it is better than the last! Yet, the consistency of quality food and drinks never disappoint. Service? It’s top notch too. In a slice of a pizza triangle, “What Ales You” is above the rest. Stay on for the outstanding music offered at 7 PM, after happy hour from 3 to 5 PM. Can’t get away from this magnet of a hang out. Classic class with the cacophony of happy guests ring out. Check out their stable of musical talents: Kevin Leonard entertains on Mondays, Brian Santana (of the famed Santana family of musicians) belts it out on Tuesdays, Karen O’ Neill is a diva par excellence and Jason Arcilla joins her on Wednesdays, Natalie Nicole belts it out every Thursday, Jon Bowser wows them on Fridays, the explosive duo of Eric Dotterer and Sean Kim keep Fridays alive and finally, Sundays are fun days with Pete Sebastian and Ricardo Dioso.

Next time someone asks” What ails you?” Just say, yes! Let’s head on down to “What Ales You”, surely a good fix and a fine one at that.

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