Ask the Mayor: Does Portable Bar Business Need Liquor License?

November 19, 2017, 12:00 PM HST · Updated November 19, 8:58 AM

Mayor Alan Arakawa answers some of the questions submitted to his staff.

Submit your own questions about County of Maui programs, services, operations or policies to Mayor Alan Arakawa at, 270-7855 or mail them to 200 S. High St., 9th Floor, Wailuku, HI 96793.

Questions submitted will be considered for inclusion in the “Ask the Mayor” column.

Hi Mayor,

Q: I read a news article about a guy who started a new portable bar business where he brings his cocktail-making skills to private parties.

Since there has been much discussion about the nonprofits being required to provide documentation for the alcohol permits for their fundraisers, I started to wonder whether this guy also needs a liquor license for this type of business?

Since he’s getting paid to bring and serve alcohol, is it different than a host simply pouring drinks for their party guests?


A: Yes, it is different.

While further research would be required to determine this particular business’ status, it’s safe to say that if the mobile bar is providing the liquor for the event, and if the business owner is charging a fee to provide the liquor stock for the party, a liquor license would be required.




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