An administrative law judge has approved an alcohol-serving license for an Asian restaurant in downtown Huntington Beach, overriding the protests of some residents who argued that the neighborhood is too saturated with liquor-serving establishments.
Judge John Lewis, who mediated a hearing on Ka Shabu in June, approved the license later that month, according to John Carr, a spokesman for the state Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control. His decision became public about early August, and the license will take effect Sept. 26.
The department imposed the condition that Ka Shabu may not provide free alcoholic beverages to patrons at any time, Carr said.
Five residents had sent letters of protest regarding the license for Ka Shabu, which opened last October at 301 Main St. At the June hearing, department staff recommending granting the license.
When Ka Shabu's license becomes effective, it will be the 39th on-sale alcohol retail license in downtown Huntington Beach.
Richard Plummer, a member of the citizens group HB Neighbors and one of the residents who wrote letters of protest, said his group's concern has more to do with the proliferation of alcohol downtown than with individual venues.
"What we're seeking is for the City Council to have a comprehensive plan dealing with alcohol in the downtown area, with alcohol and entertainment, and not deal with things just individually, because it's the cumulative results that the neighborhood is concerned about," he said.
Attorney William Le, who represented Ka Shabu at the hearing, declined comment.