Scott Metcalfe, owner of Kahului Ale House, did everything right when he appeared before the Liquor Control Board of Adjudication on Feb. 7, 2008. He was humble and polite, yet spoke clearly and enthusiastically about how he cleaned up the popular tavern. The board responded cheerfully, listened attentively and complimented his actions. Then they fined him $2,000.
Metcalfe appeared before the LC because an incident dating back to the early morning hours of Dec. 22, 2006. That’s when Maui police officers encountered one Cory K. Baisa, 20, during a fight involving nearly a dozen people in the Ale House parking lot. Baisa, still wearing an Ale House wristband, appeared to be drunk. In fact, the underage Baisa told officers that earlier that evening he’d been in the Ale House drinking four to five beers as well as a few Agwa shots (during the hearing, Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Scott Hanano insisted on calling them “A-G-W-A” shots) and a shot of Patron.
Pleading no contest on one count of serving a minor, Metcalfe—a former Haleakala park ranger—rattled off a long list of changes to the Ale House he’d made since the incident. He bought a $1,300 I.D. scanner. He got his employees training in identifying intoxicated customers. He began offering free taxi rides and food to intoxicated customers. He replaced hip-hop music with Hawaiian music, then hired additional staff for big events like televised UFC fights. Metcalfe even said that he’d “fired” his “little brother” Chad, who used to be the proprietor, for “neglecting” the place.
“I cleaned up the place,” Metcalfe told the board. “With these hands I cleaned up the place. It had been neglected. I grew gray hairs from this place already. I’m a marathon runner, so I shouldn’t be growing gray hairs.”
Of course, the board wasn’t completely without sympathy. Since the Baisa incident was Ale House’s first offense for serving a minor, they suspended $1,000 of the fine, assuming the tavern doesn’t have any similar violations in the next year.