Woe to any bar or restaurant located in the Kihei Kalama Village that has to appear before the Maui County Liquor Commission. Glen Shadle, who owns Fat Daddy’s Smokehouse, doesn’t even have a liquor license yet, and the panel’s already lectured him.
Open for the last few weeks in Kihei, Fat Daddy’s was on the Aug. 8, 2007 Liquor Commission agenda for the first of two public hearings on transferring the restaurant general liquor license from the old Tastings Wine Bar & Grill. As usual, LC officer Mike Kawagishi briefed the commissioners as each prospective licensee came before them, reading off what was needed, whether any schools or churches were nearby and how many other liquor licenses were located within 500 feet.
In Fat Daddy’s case, Kawagishi ticked off the density of the KKV area—still considered by the Maui Police Department to be Kihei’s worst area—in stark detail: three other restaurant general licenses, seven dispenser general licenses, one retail general and one dispenser/beer and wine license—all in a radius of 500 feet.
That’s the Triangle. But none of the commissioners seemed to notice as Kawagishi read through the list. It didn’t matter. As soon as he was done, Commissioner Ron McOmber asked Kawagishi how many licenses were located within 500 feet of Fat Daddy’s.
Kawagishi dutifully read through the list again, adding, somewhat sheepishly, “This is located within Kihei Kalama Village.”
It was like a window had shattered. “Here we go again,” McOmber said. “This is what the police were worried about.” But he calmed down somewhat when other commissioners reminded him that Shadle wasn’t asking for a new license, but merely the use of an already-issued one. In the end, the panel voted unanimously to green-light Shadle’s preliminary application, setting the stage for him to return next month for final approval.
“For some reason a finger’s pointed at the Liquor Commission as being part of the problem,” McOmber noted at the end of the hearing, curiously ignoring the fact that the commission had approved every single liquor license in KKV. “It isn’t part of the problem.”