John Franks grew up on Maui, the 5th generation in his family to call the Valley Isle home. With a background in web and graphic design, John brings his creative energy to Maui real estate to show just how amazing it is to Live the Maui Life.
Cafe des Amis & 41 Luna Pl.
The way things used to be. If you live on Maui long enough, towns begin to have a certain familiar feel to them. Paia is one of those for me. Shop signs are exactly where they should be, you see the same people out and about, and everything just feels right. As a kid, we would drive through Paia to get to school, and if we were lucky, we’d stop at Nagata Store for a snack on the way home.
You won’t find Nagata Store in Paia today, or a number of the shops I grew up looking at through that back-seat window in the old station wagon. Paia is transforming from a sleepy beach town into a vibrant community of artists, hippies, young entrepreneurs, occasionally celebrities, restaurants, and of course, coffee shops.
Tucked behind the front-row buildings you’ll find gems like Paia Bay (who really does much more than coffee). Cafe Mambo has become a mainstay. But every now and then, you’ll see something new. Cafe des Amis caught my eye one morning while driving the kids to school. The name was intriguing, and the barista setting out tables and chairs early in the morning made the space look inviting. The next time we had a free morning, my wife and I stopped in.
Maybe I just really needed coffee that morning, but that double espresso you see me sipping up there is one of the best I’ve had. Or maybe it was just that good. I followed it up with an Americano that made me want another, but you have to know your limits. The ambiance certainly doesn’t hurt. The Mediterranean crepes were a new experience for us, and if you let yourself dream for a minute, it felt like we were traveling abroad in a little cafe we found after taking a wrong turn on way-too-skinny roads. Quaint cafes with good coffee while lost and traveling abroad? Yes please! But you don’t have to travel, it’s right here in Paia, three doors or so up from Cafe Mambo, right where it should be.
The only thing better than having this cafe on your morning drive would be having it within walking distance of your kitchen. Oh, but it can be! Right around the corner is 41 Luna Pl., a 3 bedroom, 1.5 bathroom home in the heart of Paia. The current owners even have Architectural Drawings for a second floor addition that may capture an ocean view. It’s listed for $625,000 and is available to show with 24-48 hours notice. Send me an email or call 808-205-7589 to set up a showing, and the coffee is on me.