Expanding alcohol licenses in the downtown area has long been a touchy subject for residents who live there. Downtown has a high concentration of establishments that serve alcohol, outweighing the rest of the city. The city also has the highest number of DUIs in the state for its size. DUIs, burglaries, rape and other criminal activities are concentrated and more likely to occur downtown than anywhere else in the city.
Pirozzi filed a restraining order in February against Kim Kramer, the spokesman of the Huntington Beach Downtown Residents Assn., after what he said was ongoing harassing visits to his restaurant and threats to employees from Kramer.
Pirozzi said it all began when Kramer found out about his plans to approach the city for permission to serve alcohol on his outdoor patio. He said Kramer told him he would support and help him only if he agreed to serve wine and no other alcoholic beverages.
When Pirozzi refused, Kramer began harassing him and threatening his employees, Pirozzi said.
The restraining order, which was dismissed after the two signed a private agreement, was filed after Kramer visited the popular Italian restaurant on Super Bowl Sunday with a clip board and asked for maximum occupancy information.
Pirozzi has said that extending alcohol service to his customers dining on the patio makes sense for his business. Those who choose to dine on the patio on a warm Southern California night in Surf City's downtown should have that option, he said.
In 1989, the location got permission to serve alcohol inside the restaurant and on the second floor's patio, Associate Planner Tess Nguyen said.