Bookmark and Share Email this page Email Print this page Print Feed Feed

How Maui Lost Its Groove

Next time you’re thinking about breaking it down on Maui, you may want to think again.

A county rule prohibits dancing in bars or restaurants, except on a designated dance floor.  County officials say it’s a safety issue—barmaids shouldn’t have to negotiate a conga line on their way to serve you another round. Just one problem: the rule doesn’t define “dancing,” so critics argue that anything, from swaying Stevie-Wonder-style to tapping your feet, can be considered illegal movement.

That means it’s up to individual liquor inspectors to decide if someone’s getting too funky. While only a few warnings have been issued, a citation could, in theory, jeopardize a restaurant’s liquor license. So nervous managers end up asking patrons to cool it, since they’re never sure if their groove is going too far.

Last year the Liquor Commission denied a petition to slacken the rule to allow “moderate movements” off the dance floor. Now the county is facing a lawsuit from a group called the Maui Dance Advocates, saying the rule is unconstitutional and limits free expression.

Can somebody call Kevin Bacon?
 

 

Have Feedback? Suggestions? Email us!

,November

Also in this issue: