He’s been off the powerful state Land Use Commission for a year now, but that doesn’t mean attorney Lawrence Ing has been taking it easy.
“I’ll be jumping up and down this morning,” Ing told the Maui County Liquor Commission at the start of its June 15, 2005 hearing. “[I] have several items on the agenda.”
Actually, Ing and his law partner Dave Jorgensen represented six of the 12 establishments appearing before the commission that day.
First up was Uptown Food Mart and Car Wash in Wailuku, which wanted more time before its liquor license goes into effect. That was a slam-dunk. But when Lanai City-based Richard’s Shopping Center came before the commission requesting approval a transfer of capital stock within the company’s owners, Ing had to do a little legal dancing to explain why he had failed to alert the LC within 30 days of the deal. The commission happily complied.
Ditto Ray’s Deli and Lounge in Wailuku, which also involved a capital stock transfer. For bonus points, Ing explained how after Sept. 11, 2001, Ray’s had dropped the deli part of its name and focused on being a lounge. But now it was dropping the lounge and going back to being a deli.
They approved the transfer. But things got dicey when Bamboo Grill in Lahaina came up to get approval for transferring its liquor license to a new owner.
Mainly, Ing had to contend with the announcement that the LC had received a whopping 135 letters of protest—all apparently from the Lahaina Shores Resort, which sits next door to Bamboo. This meant Ing had to walk a delicate line—he’d acted as counsel to Bamboo’s previous owner last year, when the establishment found itself on the bad end of an LC sting. But now Ing had to make the case that the new owners would be running a better operation.
“It’s a new concept, new people to work with,” he told the commission. “Give a new person a chance to try for the American dream.”
Of course, it helped that the Lahaina Shores and Bamboo had already struck a deal negating all 135 letters of protest. The commission quickly approved the license transfer.
Ing got everything he wanted, so he must be doing something right.