It was last July, not quite 10 at night, when an 18-year-old girl employed by the Maui County Department of Liquor Control walked up to the bar at Milagros Food Company in Paia.
“Your name is Dave, right?” the girl asked the bartender, whose name was, in fact, Dave. They chatted briefly. She eventually asked his specialty. He said margaritas. She ordered one. He served her one.
The bartender’s mistake—not carding the chatty decoy—landed the popular restaurant before the LC Board of Adjudication on Apr. 6. But from the very beginning, owner Alfred Janneck decided to play things the LC’s way.
At the hearing, Janneck and his bartender told the board how his restaurant now cards every single customer who orders alcohol; how his evening host warns customers to have their ID ready if they plan to drink; how employees during the day wear shirts saying “Valid ID Required”; how there are now three signs throughout the restaurant saying the same; how all trainees are indoctrinated in the mandatory ID-checking from the very beginning of their employment; how the restaurant recently carded a 102-year-old woman and Glenn Close; how the restaurant’s policy is so draconian that it costs them an estimated $500 a night in lost business from customers who are obviously of age but forgot to bring their ID to dinner.
Through it all, the board members smiled and nodded, beside themselves with delight. Milagros was listening! Milagros was paying attention! Board member Darren Lopez “commended” Janneck, saying he was “very impressed.” Even Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Andrew Martin said Janneck’s actions were “the most impressive remedial efforts” he’d seen in the six months he’d been trying cases at the LC.
The board still fined Janneck $1,000, but they did smile.