Maui bar temporarily shut down for physical distancing violations

Local News

KIHEI, Hawaii (KHON2) — The County of Maui Department of Liquor Control shut down the Lava Rock Bar and Grill in Kihei for a 24-hour period after investigators and Maui police observed physical distancing violations.

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The enforcement operation was conducted Friday night at the Kihei Kalama Village complex. The complex was also the site of a recent assault of an off-duty Maui Police officer that left him with life-threatening injuries.

Liquor Control officers participated in the operation and observed social distancing violations while inspecting the Lava Rock establishment. Lava Rock management was initially given a warning, says the Maui Police Department (MPD). When Liquor Control officers returned, they saw continuing violations.

MPD was contacted to stand by while Lava Rock was issued a citation, which shut down the establishment for 24 hours on Saturday, Dec. 5.

Department of Liquor Control Director Layne Silva said the 24-hour shutdown was a public health and safety precaution.

“Our officers are working under the public health emergency rules to enforce measures to limit the spread of COVID-19 in our community,” Silva said.

“Mahalo to Department of Liquor Control officers and Maui police officers for carrying out this enforcement operation,” Maui County Mayor Michael Victorino said. “This should set example for all liquor establishments that public disorder and violations of public health emergency rules will not be tolerated in Maui County.”

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