When the owner of Cucina Alessa wanted to extend the services of the downtown restaurants full bar to customers on the small patio, he ran into trouble.
But it wasn't from the city, said Alessandro Pirozzi, who owns the Italian restaurant.
Kim Kramer, the spokesman of the Huntington Beach Downtown Residents Assn., visited Pirozzi after hearing he was looking to serve alcohol on his patio, Pirozzi said.
"He said, 'Listen, this is the situation,'" Pirozzi said Kramer told him. " 'I know you want to apply for the permit outside. The only way you can get this is if you do it my way. I will use my power and connection with my 1,500 supporters.'"
Kramer's way, according to Pirozzi, would be by serving wine only to his customers in the patio. Pirozzi said Kramer told him wine was different from other alcoholic drinks — it's classier and sets people apart.
When Pirozzi replied that he couldn't just serve wine in the patio, that's when the harassment started, he said.
Kramer would not confirm Pirozzi's story nor provide his side of it.
In a restraining order filed Feb. 14, Pirozzi said Kramer made threats of physical violence against his employees. But Kramer denied the allegations.
A hearing date for a restraining order filed against Kramer was originally scheduled for Feb. 25, but was continued until March 11 at the request of Kramer's lawyer.
Kramer's lawyer would not provide a reason for the continuation, saying he could not speak about it at this time. Kramer said the truth will come out March 11.
In his petition, Pirozzi said Kramer harassed his employees and customers on and before Super Bowl Sunday.
Kramer acknowledged that he visited three restaurants Super Bowl Sunday and requested to see the occupancy signs. He said he did so politely. A temporary restraining order was denied when the petition was originally filed, but will be reconsidered at the court hearing.
The hearing is at 10 a.m. at the West Justice Center, 8141 13th St. in Westminster.