Ask the Mayor: “Pop-Up” Tent Food Vendor Operating on State Land

September 15, 2019, 12:00 PM HST · Updated September 15, 11:33 AM
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Mayor Michael Victorino answers some of the most-asked questions submitted to his office staff.

Q: How does the “pop-up” tent kitchen in the Ukumehame/Olowalu area get to operate on what appears to be state land for weeks at a time? Does the Department of Health inspect such places as it does restaurants?  Are they renting the land from the State? Do they have permits? Restrooms? Hand-wash facilities?

A: My staff reached out to the state Department of Health and officials told us that they were first notified about the business you are referring to by our Planning Department’s Zoning Administration Enforcement Division in June.

A DOH inspector went out to visit the Lahaina business to talk to the person in charge, prompting the owner to go to the state department’s office to discuss the owner’s options. The business is operating under a special event permit that was approved by the department, based on the information filled out on the permit as well as the booth diagram and write-up provided by the applicant. The owners operate the business under the name “Pele’s Hulihuli Chicken/Pork.”

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One inspection at this location was conducted in July to ensure the applicants were operating under the information and write-up that was provided. Based on their approved permit, they have three tent structures to provide overhead protection for each food handling area as well as the grill, coolers for refrigeration, two hand-washing stations for separate food handling areas and a portable restroom.

I want to extend a warm mahalo to our state Department of Health for helping our local eateries, whether it’s by bringing them into compliance or assisting them with requirements. They have a difficult and sometimes thankless job, but they are integral to keeping our community safe and allowing our small restaurants and businesses to thrive in Maui County.

Want to Ask the Mayor? Submit your Maui County related questions to Mayor Michael Victorino by email to [email protected], by phone at 270-7855 or by mail at 200 S. High St., ninth floor, Wailuku 96793. Questions submitted will be considered for inclusion in the “Ask the Mayor” column; to request a personal response to a concern, email [email protected]

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