Brandon and Myline Dahle had it all. They married young and started a family. Their children were high school Valedictorians and graduated from Stanford and UC Berkeley respectively. They lived in a big house in Vegas, drove luxury cars and had a brand new RV resplendent with jet skis in the driveway.
“We had started writing annual goals on our vision board from the time the kids were in fourth or fifth grade,” explains Brandon. One unaccomplished goal on their board was to own and manage a beach bar. “It was always on the board as a long term goal.”
It was on the return trip from dropping their son off at Berkeley that the couple had the thought, “maybe we should do it sooner.”
“Up until that point, most of our goals were financial or material,” says Brandon. “Moving to Maui and buying a bar was for completely opposite reasons. We wanted to create a business that supported the community and allowed us to give back.
So Brandon quit his job, they sold the house, the new RV, the toys, and moved to Kihei. Two years ago, they bought the former Ambrosia space in Kihei Kalama Village, changed the name to VIBE Bar Maui, and set out to create something different.
VIBE caters to people who want to enjoy a craft cocktail with music that doesn’t limit conversation. It’s intimate, with only 42 seats and is a unique, cool place to spend some time with family and friends.
But VIBE Bar Maui was just the beginning for the dynamic Dahle duo. In late March, they opened da Playground, a 4,000 square foot “Sports Barcade and Events Center” in Wailuku. “After being here for awhile, we saw that there was a lack of quality spaces for local artists,” says Myline. “So we created da Playground’ to seat 400 people for performance events. We’re able to do this by having games that are movable, like digital darts, cornhole and ping-pong tables. Plus we installed a 14-foot stage with professional sound and lighting.”
da Playground is designed for extreme flexibility. It will be popular for corporate parties and wedding receptions in addition to live shows.” da Playground will also feature a simple, high-quality food menu, the chef-owned 808 Bistro. While our food selections will be bar staples, our mission is to have each item be the best of its kind on the island.”
Originally scheduled to open in September of last year, the Dahles have had to learn island patience with permitting and construction taking longer than anticipated. “We’ve learned that our experience is not unusual; things take a little longer than they might where we come from. The silver lining is we’ve met with many of the agencies we’ll be working with and have had the opportunity to build relationships. We take our responsibilities to the community very seriously. Our primary mission is to be a good citizen. This is much bigger than us.”
“We had no fear going into this. I was always the top sales guy wherever I went. No matter what I knew that we were going to crush this. I have absolute confidence in my wife and our team.”
[A version of this article appears in print in the April-July 2020 issues of This Week Maui]
keywords: bar maui kihei speakeasy craft cocktails sports bar arcade entertainment performance venue events parties music