By Lori Fredrich Senior Food Writer, Dining Editor, Podcast Host Published Aug 15, 2023 at 11:14 AM

Want to make a difference for survivors of the Maui wildfire? 

Head to Ono Kine Grindz, 7215 W. North Ave., and make a grocery or restaurant purchase.

Owners David Lau and Guy Roeseler will be donating 10% from all purchases to the Maui Strong Fund and Kokua Maui Relief Fund, both of which are dedicated to providing emergency relief to displaced individuals. Guests can also donate using the following links: [Kokua Maui] [Maui Strong]

The relief campaign, which launched on Friday, Aug. 11, will continue for the next few weeks, says Roeseler, or longer if needed. 

“My rough calculations from the weekend show that we’ve raised at least $1500,” he says. “It’s amazing. We literally had two of the busiest days EVER at the restaurant over the weekend.”

Roeseler says they will continue to collect and send proceeds to both funds for as long as they can, at least the next couple of weeks. 

Photos of Hawaii at Ono Kine Grindz
Photos of the pristine Hawaiian landscape at Ono Kine Grindz

The most deadly fire in 100+ years

“The staggering part of the fires is really the human loss,” says Roeseler, who spent ten years of his career living and working in Hawaii. 

“Lahaina is a very working-class city. It’s not one of the rich cities that caters to celebrities. These are the people who do boat tours, teach surfing lessons. Most people who live and work there are in the hospitality industry. So, it’s doubly tragic because those people don’t have the luxury of going to stay at their second homes. Our biggest concern is that people who’ve been forced to move won’t be able to resettle in the area.”

According to the most recent reports from Reuters, firefighters are still battling flare-ups from the wildfires which hit the islands of Hawaii on the evening of Tuesday, Aug. 8.

The most impactful of the fires leveled the historic resort city of Lahaina on Maui, forcing forced tens of thousands of residents and tourists to evacuate the island. It is estimated that at least 96 people have died from the blaze, making the Maui fire the deadliest in over a century.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has estimated that it will cost $5.5 billion to rebuild the town.

Roeseler says that – based on his experience – the extensive damage is also likely to take at least a decade to repair.

“Things move more slowly on the islands,” he says, “And things are so much more expensive and time-consuming to repair since everything has to be brought onto the island.”

As a result, he says that pulling people together to raise funds for the people of Maui is “the very least we can do.”

Guy Roeseler and David Lau
Ono Kine Grindz owners Guy Roeseler and David Lau

Every dollar helps

“We’re so very grateful for all of the people who’ve been so supportive,” says Roeseler, noting that every little bit makes a difference. 

“If a million people gave just $5, that would be $5 million. So we hope that anyone who has the means will consider showing their support.”

Orders can be placed online or by calling the restaurant at (414) 778-0727.  

Ono Kine Grindz is open Tuesday through Thursday from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. and 5 to 8 p.m.; and Friday and Saturday from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.  They are closed on Sunday and Monday.

Lori Fredrich Senior Food Writer, Dining Editor, Podcast Host

Lori is an avid cook whose accrual of condiments and spices is rivaled only by her cookbook collection. Her passion for the culinary industry was birthed while balancing A&W root beer mugs as a teenage carhop, fed by insatiable curiosity and fueled by the people whose stories entwine with each and every dish. She’s had the privilege of chronicling these tales via numerous media, including OnMilwaukee and in her book “Milwaukee Food.” Her work has garnered journalism awards from entities including the Milwaukee Press Club. 

When she’s not eating, photographing food, writing or recording the FoodCrush podcast, you’ll find Lori seeking out adventures with her husband Paul, traveling, cooking, reading, learning, snuggling with her cats and looking for ways to make a difference.