STAFF PICK: Menehune is the Hawaiian word for a magical creature much like the leprechaun, and Ernie is the pot of gold at the end of a desert rainbow. Raised in the Waimea Valley on the Island of Kauai, Ernie has been delivering his charm to lucky audiences for almost 50 years. Performing the last Sunday of every month at Ye Olde Lantern Restaurant at 1800 N. Oracle Road with piano man Larry Armstrong, he brings Vegas-style entertainment with a Polynesian flair. Singing, comedy and hula girls: 45 to 60 minutes of entertainment for all ages. We remember him from the 1970s and early '80s at the old Desert Inn on Congress and I-10, but before that he was at The Spanish Trail out on Benson Highway. He used to perform in Tucson to build his act before traveling it up and down the West Coast, including the Nevada casinos, until his semi-retirement here. His love for the Old Pueblo runs deep and just this last year the Pan Asian Community heralded him as its Man of the Year for championing cultural diversity and for his philanthropic achievements in the Tucson area. All this for a once young man from the Islands with a voice more beautiful than a nene.
(Sorry, no information is currently available for other years in this same award category.)