The Honolulu Liquor Commission has dismissed a petition to kill the liquor license for the concessionaire at the Waikiki Shell.
The commission was considering not renewing Centerplate’s liquor license because of several liquor violations and drug-related arrests on the property, especially during previous KCCN FM100 Birthday Bash events.
The dismissal Thursday cleared the way for liquor to be served at this year’s Birthday Bash, which is Friday and next Saturday.
Commission Chairman Dennis Enomoto said the liquor authority was concerned about public safety and warned the company that if there are several violations again this year, the commission would look at taking "severe" action.
Centerplate officials declined to comment.
Enomoto said the company improved its attitude toward controlling liquor violations by hiring an outside company, Star Protection Agency, to handle security.
Star Protection Director of Operations Roger Lau said the agency has a plan to improve safety by creating four beer gardens — the only places that patrons can drink on the premises; setting up a command post for security; improving coordination of security through the command post; and bringing 80 personnel for monitoring the property.
Sid Quintal, director of the city Department of Enterprise Services, which manages the Shell, said the two-night Birthday Bash brings in $60,000 to $70,000 for the city.
He also said the event employs about 150 people, including special-duty officers, security, Centerplate employees, cashiers and technicians.
Honolulu police Capt. Cary Okimoto, who was a lieutenant in Waikiki for about six years, said police had to bring in about 60 officers the past few years to patrol the area near the Shell during the KCCN event.
He said the cost for those extra officers was about $50,000 for the two nights and took the officers away from other parts of the island.
He said the Shell is difficult to police because people are sitting and drinking in a wide field instead of on a narrow street such as at a block party. The three main problems are underage drinking, overservice and marijuana, he said.
He said additional officers could help, but there could never be enough to erase the problems because of the layout at the Shell.
The commission said it will continue to monitor Centerplate.