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Tia Juana’s opens second location in Kaanapali

By Staff | Nov 19, 2009

From left, Robert Diehl, Brad Prescott, Donavon Frankenreiter and Brad “Paco” Miller celebrate the restaurant’s opening in late September.

KAANAPALI — Orange County residents Brad “Paco” Miller, Robert Diehl and Brad Prescott have teamed up with pro surfer and musician Donavon Frankenreiter to open Tia Juana’s Beach Cantina and Donavon Frankenreiter’s Margarita House in Kaanapali.

The original Tia Juana’s Long Bar & Grill has been a success story in Old Town Irvine, California for 22 years. 

Maui’s 7,000-square-foot location is at the entrance to Kaanapali Resort, right on the golf course. 

For years, the partners traveled to Maui to vacation with their families. They felt Kaanapali lacked good Mexican food and value restaurants for locals and visitors.

Their idea to open a Mexican food restaurant and Margarita House in Maui germinated two years ago, and the doors opened for business last month.

Upstairs, the Beach Cantina overlooks Kaanapali Golf Resort and features poplar and mango woods, ostrich-skin booths, giant lanais with colorful cushions, slate, lava rock and a large bar.

Chef Marco Colin, originally from central Mexico, prepares centuries-old family recipes, daily handmade tortillas, fresh ceviche, shrimp tacos, grilled romaine wedges with ahi and pepita dressing, and savory entrees such as Steak Tampiqueno and spicy grilled Chicken Diablo. 

Downstairs, the Donavon Frankenreiter Margarita House is home to a spectacular collection of over 60 vintage surfboards, 40 classic guitars, countless vinyl albums and dozens of classic amplifiers.

The full bar boasts hand-crafted margaritas with fresh-squeezed juices, agave nectar and scores of premium tequilas.  It’s a late-night hot spot that serves food until well after midnight, including corndog and beer-battered jalapeno poppers, a succulent mound of carnitas and carne asada topped nachos, the island’s biggest “Donny Burger” and more. 

During the day, the downstairs location is also convenient for golfers who want to grab a quick bite and a cold beer before or after their round of golf.

At the grand opening festivities over the weekend of Sept. 25-26, Frankenreiter and his friend, Hawaiian big wave surfing legend and musician Titus Kinimaka, entertained locals, Maui dignitaries and invited guests in a high energy, two-day event.

 “The grand opening was absolutely fantastic,” said Diehl. 

“Donavon was outstanding and the vibe couldn’t have been better.”

For more information, visit tiajuanas.com.