Casanova, the popular Italian restaurant and nightclub that gives many people on Maui a reason to head to Makawao on Wednesday nights, just got its second strike from the LC. One more strike—be it serving liquor to a minor, serving someone already intoxicated, etc.—and the Maui County Department of Liquor Control could take away Casanova’s liquor license.
The second strike happened at the Jan. 5, 2006 Adjudication Board hearing, right after Casanova got its first strike for serving a minor (see last week’s column, “Wristband Wonder,” for more on that). In a way that was fitting, because the incident that led to Casanova’s second strike—also serving a minor—occurred barely a week after the Strike One event.
In this case, an 18-year-old girl used her 24-year-old sister’s ID to get into the club. LC Investigator Pedro Gapero, who happened to be at the bar that particular night doing “routine checks,” noticed the girl and confronted her about her age. When the girl insisted she was 24, Gapero threatened to call her parents. Only then did she admit she was underage, at which point Gapero wrote out another violation for Casanova and then made a “citizen’s arrest” of the girl.
As it happened, the board chose only to fine Casanova $2,000, the mandatory minimum punishment for a second strike (they could have suspended the club’s license for 30 days). The comparatively lenient sanction probably had a lot to do with the owners telling the board they had immediately instituted Gapero’s suggestion that in the future bartenders and door personnel hold IDs up to the face of the person trying to get in, rather than constantly looking up and down between the two.
“We are thoroughly open to suggestions from inspectors,” Casanova owner Steven Segre told the board. But then he added that Gapero had also suggested that they obtain an infrared light to check to see if IDs are fake, but never followed up later on where to get one.