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Downtown Honolulu eatery fined $4,000 for removal of red placard following mask violation

                                An employee enters the open Doner Shack restaurant on Jan. 28.
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An employee enters the open Doner Shack restaurant on Jan. 28.

The state Health Department said it has fined Doner Shack in downtown Honolulu a total of $4,000 for removing a red “closed” placard posted at the eatery and for operating without a permit on three occasions.

Doner Shack, a Mediterranean eatery offering kebabs and shawarma at 79 S. Pauahi St., was first issued a written notice in late January after food safety inspectors received a complaint that the manager was not wearing a face mask.

The inspectors observed the manager, Donald Moriarty, working without a face mask among customers on two occasions, Jan. 25 and 27. The department said it issued a red placard, closing Doner Shack down, after the second violation.

But the department said after the inspector posted the red placard at Doner Shack on Jan. 27, the owner removed it and refused to close. In an earlier Star-Advertiser story, Moriarty acknowledged ripping up the red placard and not closing for the two days after it had been issued.

The removal of the red placard is subject to a $1,000 fine, and operating without a valid permit is subject to a fine of $1,000 a day.

“Properly wearing face masks is essential to preventing the spread of COVID-19 in our food establishments,” Peter Oshiro, Food Safety Branch chief said in a news release. “It is so critical at this time for all businesses and customers to pay close attention to mask wearing requirements as this will help to bring an end to the pandemic.”

Doner Shack was eventually issued a green “pass placard” after reinspection in early February.

Moriarty, reached by phone — Monday, declined to comment.

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