nick’s fishmarket celebrates 20 years! saturday, august 25 fundraiser for kihei charter schools

It’s a well-known truth that restaurants are a tough business- 60% do not make it past the first year and 80% go under in five. However, those odds vanish when a restaurant is led by Aaron Placourakis, an experienced and hands-on owner whose shared values are rooted in outstanding service, exceptional food, a welcoming environment and a strong connection to the community.

Nick’s Fishmarket Maui celebrates its 20th anniversary this month. True to its values, the restaurant is having a special event on Saturday, August 25 that is doubling as a fundraiser for the grand opening of Kihei Charter School’s new campus. Open to the public, guests will indulge in delicious food, action stations, champagne and wine bar, specialty cocktails and entertainment.

The celebration includes signature dishes from Nick’s Fishmarket and its sister restaurants Sarento’s on the Beach, Manoli’s Pizza Company and Son’z Steakhouse such as (but not limited to) prime cuts of filet mignon and ribeye steaks; fresh shrimp, oysters, octopus and crudo; handmade pasta, spaghetti and meatballs; profiterole, tiramisu, gelato and sorbet, and banana fosters for dessert.

100% of the profits from the 20th celebration will benefit Kihei Charter School which is slated to open and welcome 700 students this fall. With all the food and drink offerings, and a goal of raising $25,000, the fundraiser is priced at $150 per person. According to Placourakis, he wanted to ensure that anyone who wants to come and support the school and celebrate the restaurant can attend.

“This is not just a celebration about Nick’s Fishmarket turning 20, it’s also a community event,” says Placourakis. “We are getting a new school that will benefit the positive development of our keiki and our society. We must recognize, support and celebrate it with everyone. It will be a fantastic night!”

It is these kinds of social programs rooted in its core values that separates Nick’s Fishmarket from other restaurants and keeps it thriving. The restaurant enjoys a steady flow of loyal patrons, consisting of kama‘aina, and Maui’s snowbirds and repeat visitors. Yes, they come for their favorite dishes and excellent service, but they also come for the team that has become family and friends.

While the Nick’s Fishmarket’s 20th year is remarkable, what is equally impressive are the 18 team members who have been with the restaurant for more than half of its life. Some have been with the restaurant since it opened in 1998 including its Executive Chef Geno Sarmiento, General Manager Doug Mossman and Director of Operations Donnie Abernathy. Every night, they are at the restaurant with Placourakis welcoming new and returning guests, helping the team bus and clean tables, refilling water glasses, expediting food, and talking story.

This teamwork has made Nick’s Fishmarket synonymous with exceptional service being honored with “Best Service” awards every year from a variety of media, industry and consumer polls. Other award categories it usually takes home are “Best of Award of Excellence” from Wine Spectator for its extensive wine offerings and “Best Seafood.”

Dishes like the opakapaka piccata sautéed in lemon, butter and capers served with sweet-potato mascarpone ravioli ($49); macadamia-nut crusted mahi-mahi with lemongrass jasmine rice, coconut chili lime vinaigrette and blue-crab slaw ($44); scallop and pork adobo with braised pork belly on creamy risotto with baby bok choy in adobo sauce ($42), Nick’s cioppino with tiger shrimp, diver scallops, manila clams and lobster in ricotta gnudi seafood tomato broth and chipotle aioli ($59), and the shrimp scampi with tiger prawn house garlic butter, shiitake mushrooms and sun-dried tomatoes on fresh, homemade linguine ($38) are just a few of the long-time favorites that keep guests coming back.

Fresh seafood is clearly the heart of Nick’s Fishmarket’s menu, but there are many choices for meat lovers too. Prime cuts including beef filet mignon with roasted baby potatoes, cipollino onions, and Brussel sprouts served in butter and rosemary fennel jus ($47); New York steak with mashed potatoes, grilled asparagus, baby carrots and fresh porcini mushroom sauce ($49); and rack of lamb on Molokai sweet potatoes with crispy goat cheese, Maui pineapple jam, and jalapeno mint vinaigrette ($50) receive rave reviews. The menu also offers a variety of gluten-free and vegetarian options, with Chef Sarmiento happily accommodating all dietary requests.

Nick’s Fishmarket’s in-house sommeliers and mixologists are a critical part of the service team, often visiting tables to converse and understand guests’ drink preferences to provide ideal pairings with their dishes throughout the evening. One of the restaurant’s pride is its wine cellar, the largest of any restaurant on Maui housing more than 2,000 wines at any given time, offering varietals from both old and new worlds. For guests who prefer specialty drinks and spirits, the restaurant’s artisan cocktails are reflective of our island home with most of the mixers, juices, and spices made and blended in-house.

While many restaurants hide their happy hour menus by 5pm, Nick’s Fishmarket keeps the happiness going until 7pm. Guests can enjoy filet mignon sliders, seafood tacos and oyster shooters ($5), kalua pig pot stickers ($7), fresh Hawaiian ceviche ($8), crispy calamari fritti ($9) and garlic pomme frites ($4). A beautiful selection of wines by the glass featuring prosecco, pinot grigio, chardonnay, sauvignon blanc, pinot noir and zinfandel (starting at $7); special cocktails ($6), and local microbrews ($5).

Though the official “happy hour” wraps up at 7pm, a quick glance at Nick’s Fishmarket’s dining room at any hour on any given night reveals that it is happy hour all of the time at Nick’s. Happy staff, happy guests and a happy environment that brings everyone back for more. Congratulations to the entire ‘ohana at Nick’s!



Nick’s Fishmarket 20th Anniversary Celebration & Fundraiser for the Grand Opening of Kihei Charter School Campus. 100% of profits benefit the school.


Nick’s Fishmarket at Fairmont Kea Lani, Maui. 4100 Wailea Alanui Drive.


August 25, 2018, 6 – 10 pm.


Tickets are $150 per person.
Phone: 879-7224

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