You may have seen the news that the Mai-Kai, rated the best tiki bar in the world by Critiki members two years in a row, has been served with a foreclosure notice. Per the South Florida Business Journal, in 2008, Thrivent Financial for Lutherans granted the Mai-Kai a $2.4 million mortgage. Over the years, the terms of the mortgage have been adjusted to lower the interest rate to make the payments smaller. Thrivent is a nonprofit financial institution, and they seem to have been trying to be flexible. According to the lawsuit documents filed by Thrivent, the Mai-Kai missed its November, December and January mortgage payments, at $10,973 each, plus an insurance payment, and paid only $11,521.65 toward that outstanding balance on January 3, 2017. Thrivent filed for foreclosure on March 1, 2017.
I’ve spoken to the Mai-Kai, they are hoping to put out an official statement today, but the early word is that the matter has been resolved. Even if it’s been resolved, it’s a worrying sign, of course. We would like the Mai-Kai to not be getting foreclosure notices, please!
Business is not down at the Mai-Kai—on the contrary, they’re busier than they’ve been in some time. So, what gives? My guess—this is mere armchair quarterbacking, please take this with alllll the salt—is that this business could easily become healthy again with some good eyes on the books. The Mai-Kai is a massive operation with its multiple dining rooms, Polynesian dance show, gift shop, gardens, valets—it is no ordinary restaurant. Consider for a moment what it must take to handle the accounting for the Mai-Kai: a much more vast food offering than any other Polynesian restaurant I’ve been to, huge drink menu, enormous staff, marketing, the costumes, general upkeep of the decor, kitchens, gardens, building. It wouldn’t be hard for that to get out of whack. Maybe all that’s needed is a fresh look at how they’re handling the numbers. That thought gives me hope. I think there is absolutely the potential for a healthy, viable business here. This looks fixable to me!
While we try to calm our breath, steady our nerves, and hope for this storm to pass, the best thing we can do is make sure they remain as busy as they’ve been. This is especially crucial during the coming summer months, which is the slow season for Florida. Take this reminder the universe has given us, and make sure you soak up these incredible experiences while they’re still there. Get yourself to the Mai-Kai!
- Mai-Kai in Fort Lauderdale, Florida [Critiki]
- Mai-Kai [website]
- Mai-Kai restaurant in Fort Lauderdale hit with $2M foreclosure lawsuit [South Florida Business Journal]
- Notice of Acceleration of Loan [Legal document filed by Thrivent]
- Case CACE17004272 details [Broward County Court]