Hana church objectsBy Gary T. Kubota
to liquor on its land
WAILUKU -- A restaurant in rural Hana has been granted a liquor license despite objections from its landowner, the Wananalua Church.
Church board members say church policy forbids drinking alcohol on its property, and allege the Hana Seafood Grill and Market will be violating a master lease by serving alcoholic beverages.
Members of the church's board said they were disappointed with yesterday's decision to grant the license. The church's attorney has also sent a letter to the developer of the project where the restaurant is to be located that the property is in default of its lease.
"We're not against alcohol," church trustee chairwoman Joyce Quimby said. "We're against alcohol on church property."
'We're not against alcohol.
We're against alcohol on
church property.' Joyce Quimby
CHURCH TRUSTEE CHAIRWOMAN
Church member Annie Rahl said she is worried about restaurant noise interfering with Christmas candlelight services, and hoped there was room for compromise.
Gary Chow, the restaurant operator, said he was willing to refrain from serving alcohol during certain hours, when the church held special services.
Chow said he needed to serve alcohol with lunch and dinner to make his restaurant competitive with other eating establishments in Hana.
Hina Malailena, a nonprofit organization, signed a 40-year master lease with the church in 1989.
William H. Chang, the group's executive director, said Hina Malailena began its Hana Village Marketplace project on the 1.12-acre site with the idea of allowing farmers and residents to sell their produce and crafts.
He said the presence of the restaurant would help to improve the chances of opening the rest of the project.