That was a quite a rejection Maui County Mayor Alan Arakawa gave to the county Liquor Commission, don’t you think? They vote back in March to pop the cork on hostess bar licenses, potentially allowing such joints all over the island, and then the Mayor (as is his privilege and responsibility) steps in and says nope, the hostess bar license cap will remain at 12. Though his office apparently received about a dozen letters pleading for the cap to remain in place (hostess bars, in which the pretty girls employed by the club flirt with the customers, apparently wreck families and allegedly involve human trafficking), Arakawa said in this Maui News article that he’d made up his mind before a single complaint reached his desk.
But you guys should still read the Maui News story on Arakawa’s decision. The money graph is a quote from Robert Tanaka, a former Liquor Commissioner, who talks about why the commission voted to end the hostess bar license cap:
Tanaka said the commission voted to lift the cap because of “free enterprise” reasons and thought that the licenses “should be open to everybody.”
The LC was worried about “free enterprise?” Really? Was “free enterprise” on their minds when they discussed shutting down all entertainment at Kihei Kalama Village (the “Barmuda Triangle”) after 10pm because of a few noise complaints? How about when they approved rules restricting dancing in clubs to narrow, special roped-off zones? If “free entereprise” is such an important idea to the LC, then why police establishment’s advertisements to make sure they only use the exact trade name that appears on their liquor license?
In any case, the Liquor Commission will gather and lick its wounds at 9am (why make it easy for working people to attend?) on Wednesday, May 9. The agenda, which you can download here, includes an update on the Triangle situation.