Kaimuki business gets liquor license despite opposition - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Kaimuki business gets liquor license despite opposition

KAIMUKI, OAHU (HawaiiNewsNow) - WZ Family Entertainment Center opened its doors on Waialae Avenue last year. Thursday night, the Honolulu Liquor Commission granted WZ's request for a liquor license.

"We want it to be a warm and fun place but also a place where adults or people of middle age can not only live in Kaimuki but also play, eat and drink in Kaimuki," said co-owner and company spokesperson Tiana Haraguchi.

WZ's application drew strong opposition. Ron Arnold of the Kaimuki Business and Professional Association said more than 20 Kaimuki business owners signed a petition.

"There are a lot of children in our community. There's a park right there. There's a dance studio right across the street for children. There's just the element of trying to mix the alcohol and kids that really concerns us," he said.

The Liquor Commission okayed the license with a six-month probation, and tacked on rules, including no liquor consumption around the arcade machines.

"The parents have to be with the minors at all times.  After 6 p.m. until closing, 21 and over," Liquor Commission administrator Don Pacarro said.

"The plan is to bring the same people that Dave & Busters brings in. We're the exact same establishment environment," Haraguchi said.

But the chairman of the Kaimuki Neighborhood Board said a family fun center serving alcohol doesn't fit Kaimuki's culture of mom and pop shops.

"They want to be Dave & Buster's in Kaimuki. Kaimuki isn't a Dave & Buster's neighborhood place. We go down there to enjoy ourselves if that's what we want to do," Lyle Bullock said.

The majority owner of WZ also owned some Winner's Zone outlets. They closed after a cease and desist order over cash prizes. Haraguchi said this company has a new business model and management.

"It's going to be a great place. Definitely come in and try it for yourself," she said.

WZ is closed for renovations. It plans to begin serving alcohol shortly after it re-opens next month.

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