A pop-up mojito stand at Waimea Bay draws crowds — and consternation

Updated: Sep. 8, 2020 at 6:31 AM HST
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HONOLULU, Hawaii (HawaiiNewsNow) - Some members of the North Shore community say they’re angry at a man who set up what he called a “mojito pop-up” at Waimea Bay on Saturday, accusing him of defying government lockdown orders.

“I did not do this to make people angry,” said Wes Anderson, who has lived in Hawaii for 6 weeks after last living in Japan. “I actually did this to make people happy during this time.”

North Shore neighbors say parties and gatherings at the cove on the western edge at Waimea Bay have been a steady problem during the lockdown because they’re hidden from view.

The images of the gathering posted on Anderson’s Instagram page upset many on social media, including Hui O He’e Nalu board member Mahina Chillingworth.

She believes there’s a slew of potential violations seen in the photos, from the ban on gatherings, to drinking alcohol on the beach, to unpermitted business activity.

“He’s down at Waimea, way past the Haleiwa side, which we call ‘Toilet Bowls,’ and he set up a 6-foot folding table. He had his mojitos, he had the liquor for the mojitos,” said Chillingworth.

Anderson told Hawaii News Now that he was set up from 4:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. on Saturday and was asking for what he called “donations” on Venmo. He says about two dozen people came by for drinks ― but now he’s apologizing.

“I am remorseful for what I did, but my intentions were meant for good,” he said.

When Hawaii News Now asked what he was remorseful for, Anderson said: “The active serving of alcohol during a pandemic. That’s what I’m remorseful for.”

When asked about the gathering on the beach, Anderson admitted to no other wrongdoing.

“I did not bring that gathering together. People have been going there weeks and weeks and weeks in a row,” said Anderson. “I had planned this weeks in advance, trying to gather information, trying to see if they would be down for a mojito pop-up, and people were very interested in it.

“I ran with it,” he added.

Anderson says since Saturday, he’s been the target of death threats. He says will not set up a “mojito pop-up” on the beach again, but adds it’s gotten to a point where people need to make money.

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