Makaha launches petition drive to reinstate liquor license

The Makaha Restaurant, whose liquor license was revoked at the January 12, 2015 Board of Selectmen (BoS) hearing, has started a petition drive to convince the BoS to reinstate the license. A copy of the petition is available here:

The petition asks the BoS to "overturn the unfair and over zealous punishment." The BoS voted 3-2 to revoke the liquor license of the Makaha Restaurant which now has the option to file an appeal with the Alcohol and Beverage Control Commission (ABCC). Town Counsel stated that the restaurant's license would be suspended during the appeal process.

The petition states that the revocation "negatively affects the lives of staff and thousands of patrons (the public) alike." It also refers to the Acton Police Department (APD) officer who responded to the Makaha's phone call. The Makaha said the APD officer said the restaurant did the right thing.

Owner Raymond Cheng was tending bar last November and determined that a patron was perhaps inebriated. He took back the patron's drink, called a cab, and eventually called the police. The patron was prevented from leaving and driving by Cheng and the Acton Police. Yet even though no apparent violation or accident occurred, Cheng was called to a hearing of the BoS and his license was revoked. The BoS voted 5-0 that Cheng had committed a violation of his liquor license by "overserving" the patron, which Town Counsel defined as serving a drink to a "visibly intoxicated" person. Cheng denied knowing that the patron was intoxicated at the time he served the third drink.

The BoS referred to two other recent times the Makaha was called before the BoS, and implied that a pattern was evidence that the Makaha had acted improperly. Acton Forum plans to review the meetings and minutes of these previous incidents and will comment on that line of reasoning in a future article.

The details and circumstances may be reviewed by watching the hearing on Acton TV or reading the recent articles in the Beacon or Acton Forum. The Acton Forum article and links to the other resources is here:


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The BOS are way out of line with the decision to revoke the Makaha's license. They are really sending the wrong message. Their decision is a prime example of a few mindless, out of control, no nothing bureaucrats. Mr. Cheng does the right thing and he gets punished for it. The guy that he shut off was probably drinking before he arrived at the Makaha. And with the no smoking laws it's impossible to know how many are going outside for a smoke and maybe grabbing a drink in their car at the same time. The BOS message is loud and clear, "look the other way, or else". Think about it, Mr Cheng could have simply looked the other way and let the guy drive If he had he wouldn't have ended up in front of the BOS and in a position to be screwed over. If I owned a restaurant in Acton I wouldn't be calling the cops any time soon. No matter how intoxicated I observed a patron to be, I'd take my chances and let them drive. I know this is not right, but when you have mindless idiots on the BOS making decisions what else can one do? Either 3/5th of the BOS are mindless zombies, or maybe they just plain don't like Chinese people. Why else would they single out Mr Cheng?


I have been visiting the Makaha with my family for over 20 years. It is a great family restaurant with a family friendly accommodating staff that has served the town of Acton for quite some time. I had he chance to review the selectman's hearing and I'm quite befuddled. It appears that Mr. Chen had concern when serving one of the patrons and took the appropriate actions with this individual. My first question is: Why was this even brought to the boards attention when the police confirmed he did the right thing by notifying him? It is both the police, board of selectman, and Mr. Chens responsibility to protect the public. Mr. Chen did this, yet this did not appear to be understood by the board or other individuals. Nor did they want to hear it. My sense is that they have never even visited this restaurant to understand what this establishment means to the town and yet take an overzealous action to remove their license. This action seems to me to be very swift without hearing from those that enjoy the many times spent there. I hope that the board will reconsider this choice.