Ruling favors residents fighting pub’s relocation
The Irish Rose sought a site in the Island Colony condo, but it is now elsewhere
It was last call yesterday in a controversy over a pub's proposed location in a Waikiki condo building.
A Hawaii Supreme Court ruling favored the condo residents who fought the pub, Irish Rose, but could be moot because the watering hole is now located elsewhere.
"It would have made a fortune, but it would have made our lives miserable," said Bill Maxwell, who lives at Island Colony condominium. He said a majority of residents opposed the bar.
E & J Lounge Operating Co. Inc. filed a liquor license application in January 2005 to open its Irish Rose Saloon at Island Colony on Seaside Avenue.
The bar had been operating for 19 years on Lewers Street but was forced out to make way for Outrigger Hotels and Resort's $800 million Waikiki Beachwalk-Lewers Street redevelopment project.
A lower court ruled that the Honolulu Liquor Commission failed to follow voting protocol in May 2005 when it rejected a liquor license for E & J.
In her February 2006 decision, Circuit Judge Eden Elizabeth Hifo said the commission should rehear the case because it had not held a contested hearing as required.
The high court overturned her decision, ruling that the commission was not required to hold a contested hearing, that a public hearing was enough.
William Comerford, one of the partners of E & J Lounge, which runs Kelley O'Neil's in Waikiki and O'Toole's Irish Pub downtown, said he wanted to review the Supreme Court's decision before making a comment.
Comerford also did not say whether he would try to move the bar to the Island Colony. The Irish Rose reopened in March at 478 Ena Road in Waikiki.