Many people think that the Maui County Department of Liquor Control only deals in liquor. It’s perfectly understandable—the words “liquor” and “control” appear next to each in the name. But the LC would never let a mere name limit its regulatory responsibilities to just booze.
Case in point is Casanova, the popular restaurant and nightclub in Makawao. It’s a small place that can get crowded with dancers. Their case comes up before the Board of Adjudication June 2.
Put simply, Casanova got the shaft for one count of failing “to ensure that aisles or walkways are cleared of any congestion or blockage which would prevent any person from moving freely within an aisle or walkway.” That’s it—no over-serving a drunk, failing to card a minor or even giving the slip to an LC investigator.
The LC cited the club on Dec. 29, 2004, about five minutes shy of midnight. It was a Wednesday—Ladies Night, in fact—which accounts for the crowd. For its part, Casanova is pleading guilty.
Now most communities would be perfectly content to let the fire department handle such matters. But not ours. In fact, the LC’s responsibilities over where people can stand in a nightclub are enshrined in Section 08-101-90(b) of the Maui County Rules of the Liquor Commission.
Remember—this is the Maui LC we’re talking about here. They’ve busted clubs for booking acts that used profanity on stage and for letting patrons dance outside the specially taped-off dancing zone.
The irony is that rules like these are coming up for review in the next few months. There will be public hearings held throughout the county. If enough residents and licensees complain, the Commission might just start confining itself to just policing liquor. MTW