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Kakaako coffee, cocktail lounge fined $2,000 for opening without a food permit


    One of three rooms at WorkPlay Kakaako.

The state Health Department said it has fined operators of WorkPlay Hawaii, a new coffee and cocktail lounge in Kakaako, $2,000 for opening the food establishment before it was issued a permit.

The fine was issued to Redmont Group LLC, which operates WorkPlay at 814 Ilaniwai St. Redmont may request a hearing to contest the allegations.

State Health Department officials said that on the evening of Jan. 4 they saw a social media post reporting WorkPlay was open for business. Previous orders had been given to WorkPlay management advising them not to open until they obtained an approved food establishment permit, they said.

The department said its inspectors confirmed WorkPlay was operating without a permit on Jan. 4 and 5, and issued the restaurant a cease-and-desist order on Jan 5.

On Jan. 8, inspectors conducted a pre-operational inspection and issued WorkPlay a green placard allowing the business to operate.

“Proper permits are critical to ensure that a food facility has been inspected and is following rules designed to prevent the spread of foodborne illness,” said Peter Oshiro, Sanitation Branch program manager, in a news release. “Operating without a valid DOH permit, places the public at undue risk because of the potential for unsafe food preparation in substandard conditions.”

WorkPlay says it offers craft coffee and signature cocktails paired with modern French cuisine.

Correction: WorkPlay was issued a green card from the Department of Health on Jan. 8. A previous version of this story incorrectly reported that WorkPlay was operating without a permit this week.

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